I just dropped my dog off at the veterinarian's to get an infected lump on her chest removed. As dogs age, I'm told, they tend to get lumpy (my veterinarian calls my dog a lump factory) and the majority of those lumps are simply what they call lipomas, which are fatty deposits under the skin. This one, however, is not a lipoma, and needs to be removed.
That got me thinking about what 'lumps' in my life I can live with and which ones need to be removed. My immediate thoughts went to all the things we've been accumulating in our house as we've been emptying out the homes of my mother and of my father-in-law. As I make room in my home, I find things that are currently in my house that I never use or need and begin to make plans for throwing out or donating those things that are no longer necessary. One of the most fun donations was the Edge Chronicles books—a series of books each of my sons had enjoyed in their middle school years, but no longer needed. We determined that a Middle School Library might enjoy such a donation and so I brought the books to the St. Louis Park Middle School office and got a nice note the next day thanking me for the donation.
We all have things in our lives that, upon further examination, need to be removed—the clutter in our homes, the commitments to an excessive number of activities in our lives, the negative self-talk we often give ourselves. Often the 'lumps' or things we need to remove from our lives aren't really things, but attitudes, misplaced priorities, negative mind-sets—parts of our lives that we would do better without.
One of the common refrains I am hearing from the people who accepted the One-Year Bible Challenge to read with me through the entire Bible in the course of the year, is that they are grateful they have made this sort of reading a priority and, have taken away the 'lump' that made them put off such an adventure. This January, think about those things that need to be removed from your life, or those things you would like to add and make it a priority.
"For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart."
-- Jeremiah 29:11-13
On the journey,