Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Cleaning My Closet: A Spiritual Lesson

The person to whom this messy room belongs shall remain nameless, but he has since moved and this is now a beautiful guest room!

I'm so excited about our church starting home life groups next month! I believe it's something the church needs to stay accountable and connected; and being a social person, I love relationship building. 

I'm an organized person, but I HATE to clean. When I see mold growing in my toilet I figure it's probably time to clean it. So I freaked out a bit when Pastor asked if we would be willing to host a group at our house. Of course I agreed, with a smile on my face, but inside I knew I had to get busy!

I spent most of the next week cleaning the "puppy piles" (stacks of paper, books, general junk) off of surfaces and putting things away. Some of those puppy piles had been residing in their spot for a very long time, and it felt really good to get it cleaned up. I don't know why I put it off because it really didn't take that long to do.

I'd been living with the puppy piles thinking that my house wasn't really that messy. Yeah, there were things to put away, but overall I didn't think it was too bad. But once I started cleaning I realized what a mess it really was. 

Then, the moment I dreaded most. My bedroom closet. 

I'm not really sure how or why it got so out of control, but it did. I have double bi-fold doors, but they stood no chance of closing for all of the stuff spilling out. Clothes were hanging on the doors, shoes galore, shopping bags filled with who-knows-what, and a stack about 3 feet high of purses and tote bags. To say I was overwhelmed is putting it mildly.

I stood and prayed, "Jesus, You've got to help me. I don't even know which item to touch first to start this process. I don't know where I'm going to go with all this stuff. Just please help me!"

One by one I pulled out items - shoes, shoe boxes (empty, of course), slips, purses, gifts (what?!), old videos, plastic bags, plastic bags and plastic bags. I'm not sure why I thought I had to save all of those!

Judging by some of the receipts I found, I hadn't cleaned my closet in about seven years! The dust and dog hair in the corners were ridiculous. The dust on some of the purses and tote bags were ridiculous. It was not a proud moment.

I loaded up the garbage can. I loaded up the recycling bin. I loaded up the van with items for Goodwill. I vacuumed and put back the current shoes I'm wearing, hung the clothes and closed the doors!

It felt good. It felt peaceful.

Then God showed me the spiritual truth to what I had just done.

We think our lives aren't that messy. We go about our day learning to live with the spiritual puppy piles, eventually not even noticing them. But once we start to pick them up we realize what a mess we really are. That's when we need to allow God to come in and organize, dust and throw things away.

But are we willing to allow God to clean our closets? What about that chaos that is spilling out onto the floor? What about the empty boxes that need to be thrown away? How about that dust and dog hair in the corners? What about all those spiritual plastic bags?

Maybe it doesn't seem so bad, until you start to clean. Then it hurts. It's painful to give away an old favorite item, but are you ever going to use it again? Why, really, are you hanging on to it? Let it go.

Let unforgiveness go. Throw away bitterness. Recycle that anger into something positive. Give away that resentment to Jesus.

When the job is done and everything is clean, you'll feel peace. You'll feel relaxed. You'll feel the joy come back!

It's beyond me how anybody can like cleaning and think it's fun. I'd rather go to the dentist. But I'm thankful for the people who have the gift of cleaning! When the professionals do the job things get thoroughly cleaned, even better than what we non-gifted cleaners could imagine.

When Jesus, the Master Cleaner, comes to clean He doesn't just do surface things that others would notice, but He cleans behind the microwave and empties bugs out of the light fixtures...the deep, behind-the-scenes cleaning. That is what brings peace - being thoroughly cleaned!

You may also enjoy:
Pride and Attitude (A funny story about a crabby young man.)
Jesus Said It, Why Do We Doubt It
Why You Don't Want To Be Like Her
What Do You See

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