Our garage is a mess. The last few weeks have been very hectic for my wife and I, and on top of that, we’ve been rearranging things. Gutters have been installed, windows are being refinished, and a myriad of other projects have been undertaken as the cold fingers of winter inch closer by the day. As a result, a stroll through the garage is more akin to walking in a pasture – trying to avoid stepping on the piles of crap everywhere 😛 For some reason, that was weighing on my mind this morning, and as I thought about it, God showed me how that can correlate to our spiritual lives as well.
If we had kept things clean along the way, it would be much more manageable now. Instead of getting home from the store and setting things down on the work bench, laying the pieces for the next task out on the floor, and leaving tools laid out when the projects are done, if we had put things away at the time, the impending cleanup would be a quick task, rather than the multi-hour project it will be now.
The same thing can happen in our spiritual lives too. We humans have a bad habit of putting things off that we need to do. The problem is, when we do this, our hearts become very similar to our garage at home – cluttered. Instead of dealing with hurt, or pain, or sin, we let it pile up, with the intention of dealing with it “when we have more time.” Because, after all, we want to give the problem the attention it deserves. However, in doing so, often that means that instead, we let things pile up. As time passes, it becomes more and more difficult to navigate through all of the stuff we’ve let build up, and at some point, we just get stuck, feeling helpless and overwhelmed by what we’re faced with. The truth is, if we maintain the condition of our spiritual lives along the way, rather than letting things pile up, stuff like this wouldn’t happen.
So, what do we do? The first and biggest thing is – don’t let things pile up. If we keep things cleaned up and dealt with along the way, we won’t get bogged down by all the stuff we should have dealt with weeks, months, and years ago. But, what if we’ve let that happen? What if we’re stuck, surrounded with so many piles of un-dealt-with stuff that we can barely move? Just like with cleaning a cluttered garage, we need to focus on something. Rather than letting the massiveness of the task ahead overwhelm and dishearten us, we need to focus on a task. One task at a time. And then, as we complete that task, we can move onto the next logical task. That doesn’t mean that it has to all be straightened up in one afternoon, or even in one week. But as long as continually push forward to make progress, and keep new things dealt with along the way (eg – not adding new piles as we’re trying to clean old ones up,) over time, we will be able to get things cleaned up.
So, if you’ve been keeping your soul and life cleaned up along the way – congratulations! Keep up the good work 🙂 But if your soul is like our garage, there is no better time to start cleaning it up than right now 🙂