June 24, 2016

Emmaus Walk / Debra Tomaselli

What’s new? God will not be outdone in generosity

Debra TomaselliThere’s no new beginning until you let go of the old.

Our God is a God of new beginnings. “Behold, I make all things new” (Rv 21:5).

I’m pretty good at letting go of stuff … but sometimes I cling.

In fact, my children joke that anything not nailed down may be given away. When they were young, I decluttered the house and cleaned out closets frequently. However, as soon as I finished the job and shut the closet door, it seemed the stuff inside multiplied.

Oddly, the more I gave away, the more we seemed to have.

The same thing happened with our money.

I used to be a tightwad. I wouldn’t attend Tupperware parties because it meant I’d have to buy something. I didn’t want to do that. Rather, I wanted to save every dime for myself.

Then I realized generosity was God’s plan.

I began giving to the church. I donated to the Sentinel Santa program. I sent Valentine flowers to both my widowed grandmothers. I cringed at the expense, but I did it.

Surprisingly, the world didn’t stop.

I learned I could do it.

Another time, a family in our church needed a specialty-equipped van. I held my breath and contributed an amount far greater than anything I’d ever given to one cause before.

Again, life went on.

In fact, the more money I gave away, the more we seemed to have.

God will not be outdone in generosity.

I joined a Bible study, and we served meals at a local women’s shelter. One particularly cold winter, I searched my closet and gave the residents every extra coat and sweater I owned.

Later, when a local radio station collected cold weather gear for the homeless, I thought I’d have nothing to give. However, I was wrong. Surprisingly, I still found winter clothing to spare.

How did that happen?

I moved a lot as a kid, so I think it helped me learn to let go of things, places, even people. God never abandons us. You open a window for fresh new starts, and God always provides.

Maybe that’s what’s happening now.

Recently, I’ve cleaned my closets … and they’re free of useless stuff—all but the stockpiles of my published articles. In the hall closet, I store copies of every article, every column and every story I wrote that made it to print. Several boxes make up this treasured collection and, uncharacteristically, I’ve clung to it for years.

Maybe it’s time to let it go. Maybe it’s time for a fresh start.

I’ve been pondering writing a book, but something holds me back. I’ve been considering blogging, but I haven’t written a word online. I could reach people through Facebook, Instagram or Twitter … but I haven’t begun.

Could the collection in the hall closet be restraining me? If I pitch it, will I be forced to move on?

Maybe it’s time to let it go so I can grow.

When you give something away, you make room for something better.

You make room for God. You make room for God to work.

Let the new start begin. I’m ready.

(Debra Tomaselli writes from Altamonte Springs, Florida. She can be reached at dtomaselli@cfl.rr.com.)

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