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Searching for Significance in a Junkyard

Searching for Significance in a junkyardDepending on who you are, junkyards are either dirty places you’d never go to or land flowing with milk and honey. For me, they are a little bit of both. Growing up, I went to a lot of junkyards with my dad. From car parts to whole cars, from tires to engines, the junkyard was a place of hope and despair.

In fact, when my dad and I raced cars for a season, one of his sponsors was a junkyard where we could go and get tires to race with. (When you race in the front-wheel drive class you don’t need racing slicks, you just need somewhat worn-out tires to do the job – not quite bald, but not quite full of tread.) We went to the junkyard a lot.

Searching for Significance in a Junkyard

But here’s the thing about going to the junkyard: we knew what we were getting at the junkyard. We knew that we wouldn’t randomly find a brand new car in pristine condition. Instead, we knew that we would find wrecked cars that might have decent parts – for a good price. That’s why we went to the junkyard instead of the dealership.

None of us would go to a junkyard searching for the best of the best. None of us would go to a junkyard searching for long-lasting quality. None of us would go to a junkyard expecting to find the answer to life’s problems (unless your life’s problems consist of used car parts).

You may be asking, what’s the point?

I’m so glad you asked.

Consider these words from author, Calvin Miller:

Ego is a junk buyer. He hordes old values and ladens us with matchbooks and ticket stubs. He keeps the reminiscences of our most cherished moments and greatest exhilerations, and tells us that this kind of trivia is what matters. He preserves exact records of the times when we found great meaning apart from God. – The Table of Inwardness, pg. 42

Many of us have a tendency to go searching for significance in a junkyard. We look to past success for significance. We look to what we have accomplished for significance. We look to the balance in our bank account for significance. We look to the size and niceness of our home for significance. We look to the amount of ministry we are doing for God for significance. 

When we look to anything other than God for our significance, we are, in essence, searching for significance in a junkyard. Everything other than God will pass away and be no more. A hundred years from now the only thing that will matter is our relationship with God. 

The Exit-Gate is Chained

When you find yourself realizing that you have been in the junkyard of life searching for significance, your first reaction will be to question yourself. You’ll begin to justify and claim that the junkyard isn’t that big of a part of your life. You’ll claim that you can leave at any time and your time there isn’t significant. 

But then, when you muster up the courage to walk out, you’ll realize that the exit-gate is chained shut. It’s not going to be as easy as to leave as you thought it would be. There’s going to be some maneuvering you’ll have to do. You’ll need to climb that fence and you won’t be able to take anything with you. That’s right, when you attempt to leave the junkyard, you’ll want to take your favorite things with you. But you won’t be able to exit with them in your hands, your pockets, or your bag. In fact, leave the bag, too. 

Deciding to leave the junkyard of life and put your focus on God and only Him for significance, fulfillment, purpose, salvation, and real life will require you to lay down all the good finds you gathered in the junkyard. You’ll need to set them down, kick them away from you, and walk forth resolute that you will look to Jesus and not turn your back toward that which lays behind you. After all, Jesus said, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62).

The only question we have to ask ourselves at this point is this: is Jesus enough?The only question we have to ask ourselves at this point is this: is Jesus enough? Click To Tweet

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