I’ve spent part of the first week of 2011 cleaning out my garage.
It’s amazing how quickly stuff can accumulate. It’s been four and a half years since we moved in and the thing was full. Going through everything is an interesting experience. I came across all kinds of things. Some had been collected in the past four and a half years. Some were really never used. Others have moved with us from place to place, almost always sealed for either remembering or ‘just in case.’
Some things, like old photos or yearbooks or kids’ treasures made me nostalgic, wishing for an earlier day when the kids were younger or when I was in better shape. Others made me say, “what is THAT doing out here?” Some were easy to part with, others clung as if they were made of velcro.
It’s an interesting – and sometimes painful – experience.
But the garage needs to be cleaned out COMPLETELY in order to be renovated.
It’s going to become a place to do ministry. A place for meeting, for mentoring, for praying. So the old stuff has got to go.
You know, our spiritual lives are like my garage. Things accumulate. Some are worth keeping, others never should have been there in the first place. We were created for ministry and for the glory of God, but it’s easy to let stuff collect and build up so that neither of those things happen much anymore.
It’s the first week of 2011. Maybe you ought to do a little cleaning out. Free up some space. Let some ministry go on.
Could be in your calendar. Open up a little free time to get to know God by reading his Word. Spare a couple hours each month to go and serve someone besides yourself. Carve out some intentional time for prayer. Join a cell. Get to worship more regularly, and on time.
Could be in your spirit. That grudge you continue to hold? You don’t need it. Really.
Could be in your mind. Those questions or doubts? They actually might have good answers if you are willing to free up some brain cells and do some reading.
Could be in your bank account. The Word couldn’t be much clearer about a proper understanding of money and how it clutters up our spiritual lives when we don’t give generously.
Granted, it can be a painful experience. Getting rid of old things – old habits, feelings, routines – is not easy. They’ve been around so long you can’t imagine living without them.
But you can.
And you might be surprised at just how much more living you can really do!
(Hey, if you throw out something in order to really live this month, let me know about it. I’d love to pray for you.)