Inside the garage a mountain of assorted items loomed ominously before me, seemingly immovable due to sheer volume. Some things were tucked away in repurposed and meticulously labeled boxes. Others were strewn loose amongst those many cartons. But all of them needed to move to a new home.
One of the boxes managed to stand out from the rest and grabbed my attention. A few too many items inside had forced the top to remain open. One flap hung partially torn off as the result of some untold mishap. Various locations had been written in marker on one side of the box and, subsequently, each had been crossed out. A new destination now stood out boldly in fresh black marker. This was an experienced box not leaving on a maiden voyage.
But it wasn’t the box’s backstory or current condition that grabbed my attention. I’d seen hundreds of similar boxes before and many more just like it comprised the mountain now in front of me. Really, my attention had been drawn to the items spilling out of the open top — DVDs. I read a few of the titles. Some of the DVDs touched on religious themes. One contained highlights from a well know comedian’s body of work. Others were Hollywood titles, only some of which I recognized. I hadn’t seen any of the movies exhibited at the top of the box, but I did recognize a few actors on several covers. One last DVD, however, poked out from beneath another and the title touted it as ‘volume 2.’ I’d never even been aware of a volume 1.
When I pondered the value of the exposed contents I realized I probably wouldn’t have spent money on them at the store. If left up to me to make the decision, I’d take the whole box to Goodwill rather than repeatedly transfer them to each new residence. That thought led me to wonder if I would pay fifty cents for any of them at Goodwill or just leave them to collect dust on the shelf? Obviously, someone had seen value in them or they wouldn’t be mounded up in an overfilled box ready to move to a new home.
As I continued to reflect on the DVDs, I wondered what I had collected in my own home that would be esteemed of little value by others. As I wrestled with that painful bit of self-analysis, another moving volunteer entered the garage, considered box mountain, and sagely proclaimed, “it really takes a move to realize just how much junk you have in your house.”
Little by little we all clutter our lives. What once seemed like a vital item when viewed on a store shelf a few years back now resides in a worn-out box, labeled for a new destination, and piled in a heap in our garage.
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” – Matthew 6:19-22
When it’s time to make our move back to our heavenly home, will we be surprised to see how much junk we collected over our lives? Five dollar peccadilloes and indiscretions can add up and fill a lot of boxes without realizing it. What other items will make up our seemingly immovable box mountains?
Elder Kyle S. McKay shared some insight he once received from his 5-year-old son. “Dad, I’ve figured something out. I’ve figured out that soon for you is a very long time for me.” All those ‘quick’ two minute instances spent checking a device while family and loved ones await our attention easily build up. How many boxes have those minutes imperceptibly added to the pile?
When I listen to music in the truck while transporting my children to their next activity, am I really purchasing Volume 2 of a DVD series I never knew existed? Maybe I should have spent my money on ‘Purposeful Conversation with Progeny’ instead. At least that would be a title I wouldn’t be inclined to drop off at Goodwill when I no longer wanted to move it.
Through it all the Savior stands by our side, ready to lift the accumulated burden of multiple five dollar little sin purchases off our seemingly immovable mountains. He also counsels us through scripture study, Sunday worship, living prophets, local leaders, the Come Follow Me program, gospel ordinances, personal prayer, and the companionship of the Holy Ghost to purchase items of true value and great worth.
When I box up my life in preparation for my final move and behold it all labeled and stacked in my spiritual garage, I want to see I made the best purchases possible. And as the Lord prepares to help me move my life’s pile, I hope he doesn’t wonder why I didn’t just take all those DVDs to Goodwill.