Things You Don’t Need

Nov 28, 2014 1654

Bald man headI’ve travelled quite a lot over the last ten years and visited many countries. And when I come home and I am unpacking – it always happens. I go to check my toiletries bag, and I pull out a hair comb. I look at it, and I think to myself, “I’ll keep that,” and put it back in for the next trip.

The strange this is that I haven’t used a hair comb for years. You see, I’m bald.

There you go. I’m out in the open with it. You all knew it, but it’s just taken some time for me to come to grips with that fact.

So why do I carry around a comb with me everywhere I go. It’s totally useless.

The reason why is that it’s a relic of a past life. It’s a life in which I used to have dense, wavy, brown hair. And I’m not afraid to admit that I liked my hair.

bald man's combBeing bald is not a bad thing. It has come together with many wonderful things in my life: a deepening relationship with my wife, watching my children grow up to become confident teenagers, insights into my own weaknesses, a greater appreciation for others, a deeper experience with God, a greater understanding of the gospel, and marvellous opportunities to share it.

And however it is that it all works, all of these things have come together with being bald. I wouldn’t give up being bald for all the world, if it meant losing a single one of those blessings.

So why do I carry around a comb with me wherever I go?

Because there is something in me that loves my old life. There is something in my that clings to it like a barnacle to a ship. That refuses to let go.

To me, this comb is a symbol of my pride.

In Philippians 3:12–14, Paul gives us an important principle for living.

In this passage, Paul is talking about not having confidence in the flesh. And he is talking to those who have believed in the name of Jesus Christ and who have been saved. And so he is talking about how we should relate to God and to ourselves today.

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. – Phil 3:12–14

Paul tells us, with regard to our lives, to forget what is behind and to focus on what lies ahead. In fact we are to strain toward it, to press on to win the prize for which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus.

So do a stock take. What are some things that you don’t need any more? What are the things that remind you of your cherished idols, how others have hurt you, your own failures and brokenness?

Let them go.

After all, if I may adapt the words of Jesus, it is better to enter the kingdom of heaven bald than with a full head of luxurious wavy brown hair!

I don’t need my comb any more. I’ve carried it around for far too long.

God has something much better for me. And it’s not a comb-over!

Grace and Peace

– Eliezer Gonzalez

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