When I open my face cream to give my skin some smooth care, I look into the sad contents of my cream jar. What's left is just a little fluff, a little greasy something that, if I keep my skin well cared for, will pamper my skin three or four more times. Funny, actually. I didn't notice how the contents of the can ran out. It's also strange that I still have an opened can of cream in the cupboard, with about the same amount of cream. Yeah, well, there's an explanation for that.
When I got pregnant, I suddenly didn't like the smell anymore. So I kept the face cream in the cupboard for better times. You don't want to throw anything away that you can still use. That's the way I did it before. I used to keep leftovers. Not because it's sustainable, but because it cost money. But actually I wanted something fresh, something new. And I bought that. The old was left in the cupboard.
That gives me an idea. Don't we often do the same with our lives? I do, with my life. With my life of faith, above all. Instead of emptying myself completely and asking God to refill me, I keep some of my habits for later. Maybe my experiences can be of some use to me later. Or my memories. Among them there are not only good ones. Cream jars tell you how long you can use them after you open them. Once we carry something in our hearts, we don't turn it into a temporary visitor. We have open house every day. For an indefinite time.
This year I want to do something different. I don't want to carry resentment and shame in 2020, I don't want to leave the door open for the whispers of the enemy and for unforgiveness. I decide to do a spring clean. And, as John would say in his Gospel, new wineskins for new wine. To empty oneself completely, to stand before God empty-handed, that opens the door to grace. It is an exercise in mindfulness, to give oneself completely to God, to empty oneself, to leave nothing behind.
It is an expectation that He fills us completely anew: With his thoughts, his love for others and his giving of himself, as bread, to a hungry world.
What "cream jars" are there for you to dispose of?