Last year, my husband began a project replacing all of the old doors and molding in our 50-plus-year-old home. One Saturday in February he decided it was time to tackle the last room – my office. (Which is actually a bedroom converted into my office).
As he began clearing out the room, he quickly became—oh, how shall I say it—unimpressed with my ability to neatly stuff and store all I could shove into the closet and bookcases; and then pile the rest onto a table I call a desk. He wasn’t impressed at all. Especially when in the midst of moving the table it collapsed and everything on the desk now found a home on the floor. That’s when I heard the, “Don’t come in here!” yell. Which of course made me peak in the door. Oh, my goodness. It looked like a bomb had exploded in the room. Thankfully he lived up to his nickname from high school, Cool Hand Luke, or there might have been an explosion of another kind.
“Heave-ho all this must go” was pretty much his theme song for the weekend. I heard…
“You have too many books!”
“Why do you still have this?”
“Do you really need this?”
“Why are you holding onto this?”
Once he had completed his part, cleaning and clearing out the clutter fell to me. It’s amazing how quickly we can accumulate stuff, isn’t it? (Well, maybe not everyone – I know some who faithfully toss stuff out!)
As I worked on sorting my giveaway, keep, and throw away piles, I began thinking about how easy it can be for me, personally, to store junk in the same way. Without realizing how much frustration, disappointment, offense or hurt I’ve neatly stuffed away, it doesn’t take long before I’ve got an attitude the size of Mount Washington. If I wait too long to clear it out I won’t know why or where it came from. I do, however, know I begin taking it out on everyone around me and when it spills out, it’s usually ugly. Just like the mess in my office: U.G.L.Y.
Need For A Renovation
You might never know it though. Just like my office, my junk is also stuffed neatly away, giving the appearance everything is orderly and in place. It’s just stuffed full. And usually it only reveals itself when God uses the slightest irritation from someone, or something, to expose the need for a renovation.
How do I know it’s time to tidy up? When that slightest irritation causes a mass explosion or breakdown. That’s when I know there’s a need for a heart check. It’s time to seek Him in the quiet place and ask what’s causing the struggle. Sometimes I know right away, but there are times when a hurt, disappointment, or offense of some kind has been hiding for quite some time, and that takes a bit of deep digging before the reason for my outburst can be determined.
Why Do We Wait?
After spending hours removing the clutter from my office, I began to wonder, why do we wait? Wouldn’t it be better for everyone if we learned to resolve matters quickly rather than hold onto a bunch of stuff that’s going to find its way out eventually anyway? Usually in a less-than-pleasant-manner. Solomon said, “The end of a matter is better than its beginning and patience is better than pride” (Ecclesiastes 10:13, NIV).
As we allow God to change our identity—one letter at a time—let’s be mindful to end matters by eliminating any extra clutter quickly; whether in a closet or in a heart. We’ll keep working on renovating the room while God continues His work on renovating hearts.
Visit Kolleen’s website for more inspiration and encouragement: http://www.speakkolleen.com/
Kolleen is the author of the devotional book, The ABC’s of Who God Says I Am. available on Amazon.com