Monday, March 31, 2014

OnFire #313 Not Everything Goes Back

OnFire Encouragement Letter
Onfire #313 Not Everything Goes Back

As I mentioned last time, we have finished our kitchen and we really enjoy it.  Our nook area is particularly enjoyable and all of us eat there at different points in the morning. We like it.

It has been interesting to plan where everything goes back. The kitchen is a different configuration, so everything needed to move. The spices are in a different place, as are most things. Some things are generally in the same area, but everything changed. 

Not only is the kitchen a different configuration; we also decided to store things differently. We wanted to reduce visible clutter, so everything goes into a cabinet, whereas before, we had rice and flour stored in large containers in plain view. It was as it needed to be at one time, but that was then and this is now. We took the opportunity to make the change and we have been very pleased with how clean and bright things look.

As we made these changes, It became apparent that not everything was going to fit back into the kitchen. We had too much stuff to fit into the available space, and so Jan started weeding and thinning – utensils, cookbooks, recipe books, large garbage containers, cookie sheets ,roasters…. It could not all go back, so we had to choose what stayed and what did not.

It was a good opportunity to make some needed changes. Likewise, there are times in our lives when we have an opportunity to pick and choose what will go back. If I may make the suggestion – not everything needs to go back.

While we look at major changes in our lives with something less than enthusiasm and usually just hope to endure long enough to get through them, we should not miss the opportunities they often create. Whether it is moving, changing jobs, depression, a health crisis, change in life stage, or some other disruption, change has a way of forcing us to make decisions about what is really important -- but only if we take advantage of it. We can coast along, accept the status quo, and slip back into old ways of doing things, or we can reorder and reorganize in ways that move us toward new or forgotten goals.

Not everything needs to go back.

How do we know what should go back? This is where I think Jesus’ simple instruction in Matthew 6:33*  is helpful: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Jesus tells us that if we make room for the big things, the little things take care of themselves. The biggest, of course, is honouring God first. Here are some of the big things:

-Actions chosen to honour God and put Him first.
-Responsibilities simplified and limited to one’s most effective areas
-Decisions reflecting a sense of calling from God

We learned a lot of lessons from redoing our kitchen. This is one of them – not everything goes back, nor does it need to. I hope this helps. Be on fire.


OnFire is a letter on faith and character written by Troy Dennis. This letter published Mar 31, 2014. Troy is the Pastor of Next Generations and Connections at Highfield Baptist Church, Moncton NB Canada. *New International Version, 1984. To subscribe or reply, email Blog located at

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