Clearing the clutter brings all kinds of connotations. Some think of Spring cleaning, others ponder their plans to tackle the closet when the weather changes so they can move seasonal clothing to it's respective place. The goal is ultimately being able to breathe a sigh of relief as a roomier, more organized and orderly feeling accompanies the cleanliness. However, when God gives you the directive to "clear the clutter" beware of a never-ending process of house cleaning both inside your humble abode and the temple of your spirit and soul.
Such directions were given me several months ago and this journey is still in process. It's most assuredly no coincidence my Pastors recently started our leadership team on a book called "Simple Church," which speaks to the same idea from a corporate perspective. Though this book is a couple years old, this call to simplify and clear the clutter is resounding in many today. http://www.christianbook.com/simple-church-returning-process-making-disc...
Personally, I'm stupefied by just how much clutter can accumulate. Office filing cabinets get overstuffed, closets get filled to the brim and drawers are so packed we end up not even knowing what shirt or pair of pants lives on the bottom of the pile. Granted, in a tiny 1 bedroom Condo where two humans and two cats reside, the luxury of ample storage space escapes us, but still, I'm stupefied. Needless to say, it was time for much more than just a good Spring Cleaning. A complete overhaul was in order and so it began.
This journey to clear the clutter from my home, my calendar, my work, my ministry, my relationships, my eating habits and my spiritual life began in late Springtime and continues as we near October's end. Starting such a task in the home has led to painting, tearing up old ugly carpet and laying down new laminate flooring, etc.. We've moved from closet purging into massive home improvement projects. And to that I say thank you Jesus! But the quest for less clutter in my approach to life and living is the sigh relieving goal now. It all started with a call to keeping more balance and boundaries in place at the beginning of the year and 10 months later, the next layer of the onion gets peeled. It's how it goes when rehabbing or renovating a home, the more you do, the more you see that needs to be done. And so it goes with our spirit and soul.
The paralleled implications of what happens when too much clutter collides in our inner most parts are evident. Our mental filing cabinets contain receipts we issued our hearts after purchasing faulty ideas or encountering destructive relationships. We stuff, fill and pack our emotions with damaging memories, keeping receipts from bad things we bought into and even if we escaped problematic people or ideas long ago, those receipts are stored. By the time we realize there is no hassle free return policy for faulty thinking or abusive damage to our spirit, we've got twice the amount of work ahead of us to clear the clutter in our wounded soul. We have to tackle closets, filing cabinets and drawers and we must attack the things keeping our spirit and soul from breathing a sigh of relief. If we don't, we won't live our lives to the fullest.
We all get hurt, we all lose people, we all get unjustly judged and sometimes even abused. If far enough along in our Christian walk when such things unfortunately occur, we should also know that the washing of the word cleanses not only sin, but pain. Hopefully, if we're more mature we dealt with it at least somewhat well at the onset, but if word and worship did not accompany such seasons immediately there probably is a bigger price to pay for stuffing it too long. Nonetheless, unpacking that painful drawer now is better than waiting until it won't hold another thing and the bottom totally falls out. Waiting to acknowledge and deal with hurt or harmful experiences delays and denies healing. It has to be dealt with sooner or later if we're to excel and succeed.
Proceed to unpack with caution though. Only God can tell you when you are ready to delve into an issue that needs addressed. Tackling something suppressed that was painful too soon can cause further damage, so don't go looking to drudge up all the hurts of your past at once. Ask God to show you where there may be hidden places of your heart that need cleared, cleansed and healed once and for all. Press in with Him about which one to tap into first and be patient, even if the tears flow. They will be part of your healing rain.
I can tell you God longs for us to be healthy and whole and He'll never give us more than we can handle without providing a way of escape. So get into the word of God to tell you who you are in Him (the righteousness of God in Christ and an heir to the throne of grace). Seek the scriptures before, during and after going on such a cleaning binge. It's here your escape hatch exists, in the beautiful books of the Bible.
Just like the old ugly carpet got replaced with shiny new flooring and the Condo got an upgraded update, we too can replace old faulty thinking and hurtful pains from the past with a bright new outlook that leads to an updated and upgraded life. Take the first step toward a clean, clear and orderly entity and the One who died so we could have and enjoy our life to the full will be the first to breathe a sigh of relief.