Life’s Lessons

Been to any good garage sales lately?

By Helen Guilford - For the Expositor

Annually, the first Thursday of August, the world’s longest garage sale opens. Running along US 127 with one end being at Addison, Michigan, and the other at Gadsdon, Alabama, it draws thousands of vendors. Shoppers come from across the nation and foreign countries.

For the past several years, my friend and I have shopped various parts of it. We have yet to start at its southern terminus, but maybe sometime we will. Many people are truly serious about their shopping and arrive on the course driving pickups, rental trucks or pulling trailers. Those trailers are usually enclosed so purchases will not suffer theft or damage due to rain. We’re usually not looking for anything special, but it’s fun to look and to visit with others who enjoy the same things.

This year we started at the northern end of the route and traveled and shopped our way to Bryan. There, we called it a day and came home. The next day we started near Paulding and went as far as VanWert where we ran into a detour and decided, once we were clear of that, it was again time to go home.

You see, we weren’t as avid about shopping as some years. A couple of things dampened our enthusiasm this year but one major factor was that we had both moved and discovered how much STUFF we had amassed during those four years we lived separately – those four years in which we “didn’t buy anything,” those years when we were careful not to gather extra stuff!

For several years, during the summer months, we had set aside Thursday and Friday mornings to visit local yard/garage sales. This year – not so much! Having moved in May, both of us had seen enough stuff which, though valuable for some reason at another time, no longer held any special significance. And this was our own stuff!

So, when garage sale time came around this year, we weren’t fervent about shopping! Still, we missed our usual summer entertainment. Well, as I said, we had both moved – from two duplex units into one house. I moved (more correctly, I was moved) on a Saturday. Then on Tuesday, my now roommate moved in with me!

I was still trying to locate those necessities that somehow, despite my best efforts, had ended up in other than their designated locations. (Case in point – Though the cereal did end up in the kitchen and the milk was in the refrigerator, I spent 10 minutes of my first morning in my new home searching for a spoon!) While I was still struggling with such problems, my housemate moved in. The guys who moved her just simply dumped her stuff on top of mine in the garage.

Now, we had two households to go through – separate into hers and mine, needed and not needed, keep it or pass it on, etc. The answer? A garage sale, of course!

We sold things we intended to sell and things we hadn’t even thought of selling because they were still boxed up from the move until our shoppers dug them out! We gave away a lot of stuff, too – good stuff that we just wanted gone! We visited with a lot of nice people and made some new friends.

The thing is, we had the opportunity to meet lots of people and, hopefully, someone saw Jesus because of something we did or said – or even something we sold or gave away. You see you can witness for Him in all sorts of situations and activities – just by exhibiting Christian love and attributes. Nothing special needed. Just let the love of Christ show through. Even at a yard sale, whether hosting it or shopping, opportunities open for being a testimony for Him.

Be a living testimony – even at garage sales!

Been to any good garage sales lately?

By Helen Guilford

For the Expositor