In my backyard, way off in a corner under a tree, stands a shed. You know the type: full of gardening supplies, broken clay pots, an old lawn mower, maybe a weed-wacker. Underneath a single high window there are raw, worn shelves. On the shelves stand jars of various sizes. Some big ones for canning and others small – the type which once held baby food. The jars are dusty, so dusty that they conceal what’s inside them….
“Wait! Wait!” my friends chime in. “I’ve been to your house! There’s no shed in your yard! You live on a golf course for goodness sake!”
Well. Yes. This is true.
There is no literal shed.
There is a shack with worn shelves and dusty jars – in the backyard of my mind.
The jars contain dreams lost. Desires not met. I seal up precious hopes in jars and trudge out to the decrepit shed of my consciousness and place them gently on old, weathered shelves.
In a way I suppose I do this to protect myself. Life has fed me many disappointments. Bitterness loomed. Self-pity was beating a path to my heart. A lifetime of fighting – for acceptance, for love, for position – had brought me few rewards. The load of carrying continual defeat became too heavy.
It wasn’t mine to carry. I had taken the desire and dreams for my life and made them into expectations. I felt entitled to them.
I started filling jars with little desires. A dream house. I put that in a tiny jar. It was never a big deal to me to have a fancy house – so, not much of a sacrifice. A university degree. A white slipcovered sofa. Little desires that really had no impact on my life – either way I’d be fine in life without them.
Then I moved on to the bigger stuff. The process became difficult.
The dream of a songwriting/singing career. I spent years on this desire. I thought God had ordained this for me to do. Until He didn’t. It was a season and it came and left and now I put it in a jar. A bittersweet moment. With a sigh I took it to the shed.
Individuals who came and left went into jars. They were part of my life for a time, but I needed to let them go.
In to jars went jobs I loved or wanted. The hope of romance with certain individuals. The quest for ideal character. The longing for a healthy brain. A perfect body. Goals unattainable. Dreams not for me.
The biggest jar held my desire for marriage. A longing since I was a little girl – denied.
I placed these desires and dreams on a shelf and made the decision to walk away. To move on. To live life in spite of disappointment. To explore joy in what I was given.
Now and then, I’d go out to the shed and look at the jars. I discovered many of the hopes weren’t important anymore. Losing them turned out to be a non-issue. What was once so deeply in the forefront of my mind became… meh.
One day, I felt a nudge. A holy nudge, as it were. A reminder.
Jars can be opened.
What was once put aside and left to gather dust and cobwebs could be cleaned off and opened. Released like a butterfly from its cocoon.
The dreams I put away – passions, longings, the much desired? They could be realized still – in their proper time.
Thought to ponder…