Cleaning our life's garage

By Darrel Hammon

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, April 11 2014 5:00 a.m. MDT

With some of our challenges and inner turmoil, we must determine whether we want to carry that around anymore. For example, what about the grudge we have held for years against our sister or used-to-be-best friend? Or the Facebook story that just popped up that really wasn’t true? If we don’t want it, then we figure out how to cast it out, either by visiting with a counselor or friend or clergy.

3. Determine those things we want to bring into our life’s garage.

Often, because we have so much junk squirreled away in our lives, we literally don’t have space to welcome any good things into it. Elder Neal A. Maxwell wrote in his book "Of One Heart," “Sometimes we draw the things of the world so close in our line of vision, we obstruct the big picture.” How true is that?

Sometimes, the things we thought were so important to us have not been relegated to non-items, but we hoard them like they are our best friends, when, in reality, they are no longer even our acquaintances. Some of them even haunt us.

4. Fourth, seek the good things to bring into our life’s garage.

Seeking the good things in life can push out the old, rotting stuff, modify our behavior, help us see differently and more positively and enhance our talents immensely, thus replacing the things we really don’t need or want with positive, uplifting things. But there are other things we may want to bring in, like furthering our education, learning a new skill, seeking new friends, adopting new and invigorating thoughts, etc. We can determine what those good things we want in our lives and go after them.

5. Take care of our precious, valuable items by maintaining them.

Once we have tossed out the old and decaying items and gathered up good things, we need to maintain and enhance the new, precious and valuable items. Nothing is worse than buying an expensive car and then allowing it to sit outside in the driveway and collect dust and dirt, chunks of bugs, and snow and ice. When we maintain the interior of our literal garage, we can park our cars there no matter what the weather.

So, too, with our life’s garage.

When we routinely purge the clutter that may build up and then consistently self-evaluate, we will be amazed at how many good things we can now park safely within our life’s garage.

In reality, long-term maintenance is not a huge job, but we need to be consistent and vigilant and remember how good we feel and how clearly we think with the old stuff eliminated from our life’s garage. And once it is gone, we must never drag it back in.

So, when you walk down the road and see those expensive cars huddled in the driveway while a few dollars of stuff gather dust in the garage, think of yourself and how it is time to clean out the boxes of unwanted burdens and challenges, and replace them with the better and more valuable things you deserve.

It won’t be easy, but we must challenge ourselves on a daily basis to have a clean life’s garage where we can park those important things out of the cold, the snow and the deteriorating whims of nature. And, finally, we will be filled with things that have value with room for more.

An Idahoan, Darrel Hammon likes being outdoors, growing things and seeing things the way they could be. More of his musings are at darrelhammon.blogspot.com.

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