One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.
Or so they say, and as we began to try and dispose of the 17-years of accumulated junk from our basement, closets, cupboards and garage, this old adage became our reality.
It all started the day we purchased a 20$ “refrigerant” ticket in order for the city to pick up our broken-down dehumidifier. The clerk suggested we not put the ticket on the item until the morning of our garbage pick-up, and she told us to keep our receipt, promising to buy the ticket back from us if someone took the dehumidifier off the street before the garbage truck came.
I was pretty skeptical, but why not try? Upon reaching home, we put the dehumidifier, along with a broken-down basketball net, on the side of the road. Imagine out surprise…and delight!…when they were both gone by morning. We were able to return our ticket and pocket the 20$.
This gave us an idea. You see, I’m not totally for filling land-fill sites with my rejected junk, so we began putting other items that were destined for the garbage pick-up onto the side of the road.
The old, dilapidated tractor trailer was gone before we had even returned to the house, and someone stopped by for the rusted-out, rotten park benches before we could get them to the street. The old pots and pans went, as did the box of old CDs, the old toy box and the old child’s bed. Even the port-a-potty and camp chairs were gone by morning. Who would have thought? When the city garbage truck finally came, there was hardly anything left for them to haul off!
My neighbour, who actually took many of our items, helped me to understand how this could happen. He explained that he didn’t see the park benches as rusted and rotten, he saw them as items in need of a few new planks and a good cleaning. The old pots and pans were just the thing for his bachelor grandson who was setting up housekeeping, and instead of seeing the old trailer in its dilapidated state, he saw it as beautiful pieces of scrap metal that he could harvest for a toy-hauler he is building…
Wow! Talk about one man’s junk becoming another man’s treasure!
This turned out to be a vital, two-fold lesson for me.
First of all, we are all sinners (“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” Rom. 3:23 NLT), and as a result, most of us see ourselves as nothing better than a dirty beggar on the street, hoping that God will come along and take pity on us. We don’t see any value in what we can do, we don’t like ourselves, we don’t like what we see. In our own eyes, we are worthless junk, and nothing we do ever changes this fact.
But God doesn’t see us this way. The Bible says, “On that day the LORD their God will rescue his people, just as a shepherd rescues his sheep. They will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown.” (Zech 9:16 NLT) Where we see nothing but garbage, He sees opportunity. He knows that we are all fine jewels, in need of a good cleaning and refining, and He has even supplied the “cleansing” fluid: “…and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7b NLT).
One man’s junk is another man’s treasure? How about, each man’s “junk” is “treasure” in God’s eyes!
There is one more vital lesson to be learned from my junk-to-treasure basement-cleaning experience. Join us on Tuesday for “One Man’s Junk, Part 2”.
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, andScriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, withAnswers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
(To access the entire “One Man’s Junk” mini-series, please click here.)