I misplace things pretty regularly and I have little patience with me when I do. This makes for a volatile combination. I fuss and fume at myself for being careless as I hurriedly search for something I’m always a day late discovering I need! How many cumulative hours have I wasted throughout the course of my life just riffling through drawers or moving stuff around looking for something I’ve lost. I don’t clutter, per se, things are out of sight, but drawers, cabinets and closets are pretty close to capacity. A drawer in my office came crashing down yesterday afternoon–the bottom fell out of it–which reminded me to clean it up. I found some pretty neat stuff that had been missing for a while when I did.
The essence of my problem–too much stuff– which, in reality, takes me to virtually the same place that clutterers live (oh, how painful to admit it!). I always swore I wouldn’t become my mother. I was never comfortable with the way she kept house. There was always too much stuff sitting about and it was often my job to dust it all and put it back exactly as it stood before. She kept track and knew if something was missing! Mom loved “cute” stuff, like the 6-inch ceramic skunk holding his nose correctly positioned on the back of the toilet in the bathroom (just sayin’ if you are going to have such a thing, that’s definitely the place to put it) or the troll dolls with the crazy hair. People who knew my mom kept her supplied with all the junk they received but didn’t ever want to provide a home for. They knew Mom always took in strays. She was a saint, really. “Messy” was her only failing, God rest her sweet soul.
It is scary, indeed, to admit such “tendencies” because we sometimes find we are much closer to what we don’t want to be than we think we are. This is true spiritually as well. In every child of God, the Holy Spirit lives where the corruption happens. It is His job to alert us when we are attempting to mix the holy with the unholy. Of course, we need His perspective because we love to live on the surface of life where all can appear to be in order . . . until the floor falls out from under us and all our junk is exposed.
Psalms offer us wisdom, as well as praise. In David’s wonderful cry of repentance and restoration he prays, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (51:10) It was clear to David that his heart was desperately wicked and that only God could restore holiness and keep him from falling back into his sinful ways.
In that marathon Psalm 119, the psalmist says, “I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes. I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands.” It is clear that this spiritual self-exam revealed that he was headed away from the path of obedience and there was a desire to beat feet back to the way of Truth once again. On the surface his spiritual footing probably looked solid but internally the threat of falling was real.
If it is true of the one(s) who wrote this most wonderful psalm, then it is true of me as well. All the corruption has to go! Proverbial trolls, skunks and the like! “Turn my eyes away from worthless things . . .” (119:37)
And, by the way, if I lived like Paul, I wouldn’t have much earthly treasure to hunt for. “What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord . . . I consider them (everything compared to Christ) rubbish that I might gain Christ and be found in Him . . .” Definitely time to clean house . . . and take no prisoners!
. . . now where did I put that trash sack?
Walking in Wisdom (with much cleaner drawers!),