geezeronthequad: Cleaning Out the Junk Drawer…Psalm 103:1
Sometimes you just have to clean up where you live. For college students, this often takes place in the spring when we move out of the dorm, apartment, cave, treehouse, large appliance crate behind the laundromat, out from under the front porch at the Xi house or whatever housing arrangement we had working during the school year (and, in some cases, I’m not exaggerating much). How did all these old, green and fuzzy pizza crusts get here? I could sell this mess in the bottom of the closet to farmers as compost and cut the cost of books next fall. The dumpsters on campus overflow with an amazing array of items that could furnish a number of houses (and a lot of trash). This provokes an onslaught of battalions of trash pickers who swarm in like the plagues of Egypt. Our souls need the same thing but how do we get started with this? Let me suggest something that, used daily, saves us from the once a year shovel out.
“… Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is in me, bless his holy name.” Remembering what we said about blessing the Lord, does “all that is in me” do Him good and bring Him joy? It’s an instant throwing open the doors of every closet of our souls for inventory. Please note that this doesn’t mean we use the Bible to rummage around and find something to beat ourselves up over. We can do that without the Bible and while the Holy Spirit convicts of sin, He is not in the shame business (We’ll have to talk about that sometime.) It’s like having a junk drawer. If we don’t have one now, we will when we exit school and have our own place. The junk drawer is storage Nirvana for every little thing that might be useful someday and for small things we absolutely don’t want to lose. As time passes, we start dumping stuff in there with no rhyme or reason as to why we’re hanging on to them in the first place. The drawer gets so cluttered with ill-defined things that we quit looking in there at all if we can still open it.
Most Christians succumb to spiritual clutter. We’re not necessarily done in by the big blow outs – the bodies buried in the crawl space or that we forgot to wipe the blood off the chainsaw the last time we used it. We clog up with unexamined things of the heart, with shallow and misfocused priorities, with small obediences compromised, with innocent hindrances unrecognized and indulged. A daily kiss on the cheek from “…all that is within me” immediately flags this kind of thing and raises the question “Is this blessing God, doing Him or me any good at all and, if not, why am I hanging onto it or allowing it to hang around inside me?”
For the last couple of years before I married and moved out, I had a favorite pair of sneakers, black canvas low-cuts. Electrician’s tape was all that held the fabric tops to the soles. Mom stayed after me to throw them out and, during the summers, she made several valiant attempts to throw them out for me. But I would wake up and grope around the floor feeling for them. If I found nothing, I’d jerk awake and run for the trash out behind the house where, more than a few times, I saved my babies. My parents came to visit us for our first Thanksgiving. Right away, Mom noticed, “You have new sneakers.” “Yes,” I replied, “Gay thought they were a ragged mess so she threw them out.” I think she probably cried on the way home. It’s not love until she can throw away your favorite sneakers.
We cherish idols made from rags in our heart. Some of them used to be worth something. A lot of things just accumulate and we don’t know how they got there. We know we need to sort them out and pitch a lot of it but can’t bring ourselves to do it. Into this mess, the Holy Spirit whispers, “…let all that is within me bless His holy name.” Could it be that we aren’t really acknowledging the love of Jesus Christ until we’ve let Him throw away a few of our sneakers?
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Please return your seat to the upright position and give your infrared night vision goggles to the attendant as you exit to the rear. See you next post at geezeronthequad.com