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A moving experience

April 8, 2013 No Comment

by Tom Prachar

prachar2011The boxes piled up and the furniture was being rearranged. The contents of the district office began to disappear as they were packed for the move to the synodical office in Winnipeg. I found myself wondering, “Oh, where is that…Oops, already packed away!”

The same happened with my condominium as my spare bedroom filled up with boxes loaded with my earthly goods. I spent a lot of time going through my stuff, giving some things away, selling others, and throwing away a lot more. After only twelve-and-a-half years in one place, I certainly had managed to accumulate a fair amount of junk. Thankfully, my situation was not as bad as that depicted on the TV program, Hoarders. But it was still a daunting task to sort through everything.

My condo did not always look this way. I suppose it has always had a typical, lived-in, cluttered look, always in need of a good dusting or vacuuming. But things changed when I put the unit up for sale. I was told by the realtor to get rid of the clutter and find “a place for everything and everything in its place.” I washed and scoured and sand-blasted, and crammed and jammed until everything was sparkling clean and neatly arranged. I tried to make my humble dwelling look like a million dollars even though it was only worth a fraction of that. I tried to make as good an impression as possible on potential buyers. One look at my humble digs, and I hoped they would be able to say, “I could live here!”

Then I began living in a museum. I didn’t want to use my recently cleaned oven, because something might spill and I’d have to clean it all over again. I didn’t leave clothes here and there, but hung everything up or tucked them into a drawer in case an interested buyer visited. Lint on the carpet was picked up immediately, and spots on the mirror were promptly polished. Everything, so I thought, had to look perfect for the next person viewing my condo.

Did it work? Did all my hard work pay off? I guess I’ll never know, short of talking to the realtors who showed my condo. I don’t know if my attention to cleanliness and detail made much of a difference in selling my unit. Whatever the motivation, someone did buy my condo after two weeks.

When we need His help the most, we trot out all our good intentions and works in an effort to impress Him.

Reviewing my experience, I can’t help but think how many people, including Christians, think and act a similar way before God. When we need His help the most, we trot out all of our good intentions and works in an effort to impress Him. When someone close to us is sick and dying, we promise our heavenly Father that we will give up this and do that. We try to make an impression with our outward words and actions to motivate God into action. We forget that it is really our sinful heart that is the problem—a problem we cannot change.

But God fixed that problem by sending His own Son. Jesus was perfect, without sin, and then offered that perfection for sinners like you and me. That’s the whole reason we observe Lent: to marvel at the tremendous love our Saviour had for us and the incredible sacrifice He made for us. Despite our sin and stubbornness to help ourselves, Jesus loved us anyway. He looked beyond our good works and intentions, fixing our dead hearts with the spark of faith. As we believe in Him as our Saviour, we know that we will sin daily. But we also know that He has paid for that sin.

He looked beyond our good works and intentions, fixing our dead hearts with the spark of faith.

On Easter morning He proved that His heavenly Father accepted His sacrifice for sin and death by rising triumphantly from the dead. He gave us the hope that we will be with Him in heaven with perfect bodies made so by His resurrection power. It’s that final move from this life to eternal life to which I am really looking forward!


Rev. Thomas Prachar is President of the Central District of Lutheran Church–Canada.

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