They were pretty unique characters who had lived in the mountains of North Carolina through the worst of the Great Depression and their house showed it.
It was full of odd collections and hidden coins.
But what caught my attention was the tin they discovered labeled “string too short to be used”.
It was full of tiny pieces of string that were obviously too short to be functional.
We chuckled at the absurdity of saving something that had no use .
And not just saving it – but acknowledging on a label that it was useless – and still saving it!
What a waste! Think of the time and energy they took to gather the string, find the tin and put it in. Think of the wonderful things that tin could have held if the string was gone.
Somehow, living in the shadow of the Great Depression warped their mindset until they were unable to let go. They had a desperate fear of being in need and hung on to everything – just in case.
But then I thought of my own heart – just like that tin – where I’ve tucked away many useless things.
Wrong attitudes, bad habits, pride – things that are not useful, but take up valuable space and time.
I have a desperate fear of needing them, a warped idea that they will somehow protect me in a time of need.
What if someone hurts me – I’ll need that pride.
What if I crave some comfort – I’ll need those habits.
What is someone asks me to change – I’ll need those attitudes.
Yet – in the light of scripture – I can see them for what they are – worthless .
Just like a tin of string too short to be used.
Think of the wonderful things that could occupy that space – things like peace, love, and patience.
Maybe it’s time to empty my tin.
Maybe it’s time to let go.