As we go throughout each day, we have all sorts of experiences and feelings. It is sometimes difficult to know which ones are worthy of our attention and which ones aren't. The emotional baggage that we carry around as adults often began when we were children. Learning to rely on God to help us prioritize and evaluate our emotions and experiences at an early age helps chil-dren to grow into healthy, God-seeking adults.
Wear an outfit with pockets and put several things in them to show the children. Ideas: offering envelope, keys, pen, coins, wallet, handkerchief, old concert ticket, used tissue, button, a rock, gum wrapper, ear buds, thumb drive, Chinese handcuffs, a small stick , broken watch or com-pass, fake mustache and glasses, rubber chicken, small stuffed animal, cell phone, plastic bag. The sillier, the better! Be sure to include a couple of things that are important to have, like keys or an offering and also fold up a plastic bag to use later.
Good morning. My watchband just broke. [sigh] I was just going to put it in my pocket, so I could keep it safe until I get home and wouldn't lose it. It won't fit, though. My pockets are so full! Let's see what I have in here this morning. [Empty your pockets and pass around what's in them. Talk about several of the items, like they are really important to you. For example, "This is my favorite rock. I take it with me everywhere I go, so I always know where it is. Isn't it cool?" or "I won this rubber chicken at the fair last summer. I had to play the dart game for al-most an hour, before I finally won it! So, I'm really proud of that."] You know, I wonder if I should maybe sort some of this out and not carry all of it with me all the time? That way I would have room for things like my watch, when I am not at home. Can you help me make two piles of this stuff? One to keep in my pocket - it's important or necessary for church and one to leave at home next time - I don't need it right now and I can put it in a special place at my house, in-stead. [Sort the items quickly, letting the kids help and then put only the necessary things back. Put the other items in the plastic bag you had in your pocket.]
Pockets are great places to keep things. But they can get cluttered. Then there is no room for any of the good stuff you want to put in them. We can be like pockets sometimes. We can clut-ter our minds with lots of useless information; our hearts with hurtful memories we should just let go; our souls with wants that aren't good for us. For example, when you go through a regular day at school, you accumulate all sorts of things, like an insult from another student, something you are worried about and don't know what to do next, a compliment from your teacher, a good grade on a test, a bad grade on a paper you wrote, etc. At the end of the day, it is important to empty your pockets. Take it all out and ask God to help you sort through all of it. Only keep what He thinks is good and useful.
When our pockets have the right things in them, we free: Our minds to think clearly Our hearts to care for others Our soul to be able to be close to God If you pray to God regularly, throughout your day and maybe at night before you go to sleep or first thing in the morning as you start your day, He will help you keep all of the clutter out of your pockets. Then, you will have room for things that feed your soul.
Thank you God for knowing what is good for each of us and for caring so much about us. Please help us to keep our pockets free of clutter and full of only the things you wish for us to save. In Your name we pray, Amen.