Hopefully in the next couple of months we will be moving house. In anticipation of that we are starting the process of clearing out the clutter that we have accumulated in 7 years of living here (plus some that we have brought with us from previous houses!). It’s amazing how much stuff just gathers dust because, while you no longer have any use for it, you can’t be bothered / bear to get rid of it.
At the moment I am re-reading a number of books that I have had for ages. They are books I enjoyed reading when I bought them. When I had finished reading them I then put them on a bookshelf – presumably as evidence for other people that I can read, like hunting trophies on the wall. Why have I kept them? Antelibroinertia (new word that means the failure to get rid of books you have read because you have not got around to it). So I am giving them one last read and then they will be taken to a charity shop.
Other ‘stuff’ is going. We have an old snooker table that was rescued from a church youth club when they were replacing it (probably 20 years ago!) and which we have hardly ever used because we have not had space for it. (You don’t just need space for the table, you need at least a snooker cue’s length of space around it if you are going to play.) That is going to a good home through a local recycling website. We need to get rid of some old bicycles (one to a bike-recycler and the other on a well known auction website).
And I have plenty of ‘useful’ cables and pieces of wood that I will have to sort through and send to the recycling centre (they are kept because one day they might be useful).
And there’s plenty more.
I hope that as we de-clutter we can bless some local charities and people, (and hopefully not just move the clutter to fill up someone else’s house.)
We all gather clutter in our lives too, don’t we. We have the clutter of tasks that we have not yet got around to doing and which slowly accumulate until we can’t bear to look at them. We have the clutter of hopes, dreams and ambitions that are unfulfilled and, if we are honest, are never going to be fulfilled (I probably won’t be playing in goal for Ipswich Town FC in the FA Cup Final). We have the clutter of promises that we have made but have not yet kept, or those made to us which have not been met, with associated hurt. We have the clutter of relationships that we have either broken or neglected and which we are now too ashamed or frightened to do anything about. We have the clutter of disappointments accumulated over a lifetime of living. We have the clutter of habits that we have acquired that are not healthy for us but which we daren’t deal with because that may be too painful…
So how do we de-clutter those things? I am not sure that we can do it all on our own. That’s where friends and family can come in useful – people who won’t judge us, make fun of us or abandon us but who will love us no matter what.
And be assured that God’s got the same attitude to you. He’s waiting for us. Not (despite popular opinion) to smite and condemn and judge and sentence, but to embrace, to restore, to renovate, to offer grace and forgiveness. If you doubt it, read Luke Chapter 15. Who are you in the stories?
So what about it?
Be blessed, be a blessing