When I was in college at The Ohio State University, I spent a lot of time in the scene shop. I got into props mastery and while I got my degree, that’s where most of my time, was spent. Around Drake Union across from the infamous Horseshoe are these two decrepit and creepy looking buildings. They’re not attached to the theatre department, but really just sit there separated and look kind of out of place. Until I had to go through them I always thought they were some sort of electrical building. I’m not sure their original purpose but now they are used as a prop’s warehouse for the theatre departments. Piled to the brim in the buildings are left over large props and scenic pieces that have been left over from years’ worth of shows and performances. Perhaps they’ve been cleaned out a bit in the 13 years since I saw them, but when I was there that’s was their purpose.
Going into these buildings were creepy! I am not one prone to get freaked out at going into old places, but this place was just yucky. There was an old stuffed wolf that had been hung from the rafters to “guard” the door. There were props just placed randomly in every nook and cranny. I remember spotting a large throne from an Egyptian show and then some rustic large chair from what could have been something for the Old West. One could barely get through a slightly cleared pathway without tripping. Dust and cobwebs danced in the air. It was not a place one would really want to go to just hang out.
If our lives had left over prop’s warehouse’s what would people think about our left over prop’s? Perhaps one would find left over angst from a relationship gone bad in one corner. Maybe you could see just a little bitterness and unforgiveness in the other. Would it be a place people would feel peace, or would it be a place that people wouldn’t want to spend any time on the inside?
As I was mentally preparing to write this blog I began taking inventory of what I knew would be on the inside of mine. To me there aren’t surprises. There are a couple issues I’ll confess I’m still working on sweeping out of the storage. But I know they are there and I admit that sometimes forgiveness can be a process. They might linger at the moment but I’m working on getting them out more and more every day.
Often people get really condemned when they just can’t seem to ‘forgive and forget’. I used to get very annoyed at that phrase. ‘I mean really God, I’m human how am I supposed to forget a situation happened’. Finally after years of seeking God about this I realized that phrase isn’t Biblical. We are still going to have the things in our ‘prop’s warehouse’ so to speak, but real forgiveness means that we forget the emotions that surrounded it. It means that our prop’s are in order, we don’t cry when we see them, and without a doubt we can look at a situation that happened in our past and truly see it ‘almost’ as if it happened to someone else. The story is there but the feelings are not. To truly move onward we’ve left the pain, the angst, and the bitter ness in the past. We have become survivors. The prop is no long creepy, but in a sense becomes a badge of honor where when people hear our stories they can move forward.
Many people though don’t do that. They store their old prop’s locked in a tight room, only to take them out once in a while and relive the hurt over and over again. They keep the cobwebs and the dust around, and if they were asked about a person or situation they conjure up the old hatred and pain.
Mark 11:25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.
Forgiveness is a beautiful thing. One of my favorite phrases about unforgiveness is by Joyce Meyer "Unforgiveness is like taking poison and hoping that the other person dies."
Take some time to clean out your ‘prop’s warehouse’ in your mind today. Are there things that you need to let go. Are there things that need to be cleaned out and rearranged? Ask the Lord to show you. While forgiveness may be a process, choose to go through that process. In the end you’ll feel a lot better, and you’ll be glad you can walk through life without tripping over the past.
God has awesome plans for your life. Get excited