Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Clean Up Your Act

One of my least favorite things to do is to clean out the garage or my closet. Of course, eventually I have to give in and clean them out or I will end up with heaps of stuff on top of piles of stuff and I won’t have any idea what I do and do not have. Robbie Lee, on the other hand, loves to clean out anything. She is a very sick person if you ask me. We live together and so this is a big issue between us. She will get this look that says, “It’s time to tackle the garage” and I run and hide in my room. 

Robbie Lee loves to sort, organize, make lists, alphabetize items and color coordinate. This is very scary to me. Cleaning out the garage becomes, not just a tedious task, but an event when Robbie Lee is involved. She carefully creates a give-away stack, a throw-away stack, a what-is-it stack, a bulky–item-pick-up stack, a hazardous-chemical stack, and the list goes on and on. We have to start this project at about 5:30 a.m. in order to finish by bedtime. 

On the day of the project I wake up with a sense of dread. Robbie Lee wakes up with a yippee sound in her voice. It makes me want to strangle her and put her body in the throw-away stack. I drag my feet as long as I can to prolong the blessed event, finding a million other things to do until Robbie Lee finally starts screaming, “Let’s get this party started!” 

I have never seen a woman any happier than when Robbie Lee is standing in the middle of a big clean out project. I’m telling you this is not a normal person. My problem is that I want to keep everything. “Don’t throw away that thing-a-ma-bob,” I say, rescuing it out of the throw-away stack. “I might need it later.” 

Robbie Lee just keeps tossing things in her neatly labeled piles until we collapse on the front lawn with a completely empty garage. 

“Now,” Robbie Lee will say smiling, “let’s put each thing in a specific place, color coordinated according to labels and in categories such as gardening, lawn, tools, etc.” 

And so it goes. I usually find myself lying on my back, staring up at the sky, praying frantically for the rapture. “God, if you’re a just God, please send Jesus back now to rescue me from the ‘Evil Queen of Lists.’” I listen carefully for the sound of the trumpet or for a glimpse of Jesus on one of the clouds, but, alas, I have to get up and finish the grand garage project. 

When we finally finish, Robbie Lee stands back with her hands on her hips and says with great pride, "Now, doesn't that just make you feel good?"

I usually just go back inside, mumbling under my breath. Robbie Lee will go in and out of the garage about sixty times, commenting each time on how nice the garage looks. I shower and collapse on my bed, locking the door behind me so Robbie Lee can’t get in to see my closet. 

We have to sift through a lot of stuff  in life to sort out what is worth keeping from the junk we need to toss. Too many times we let the junk influence our decisions and we throw out the gold nuggets along with the useless stuff . Maybe we are in a great church, but one thing happens that offends us and we are ready to throw away the whole church because of it. Perhaps we have tossed aside a good friend because it takes too much effort on our part to keep up the relationship. 

Sometimes we clutter up our lives with so much junk we couldn’t find the real priceless things if we tried. We don’t sort or sift; we just accept and keep with no consideration of quality or value. As Christians, we should live what we value. The things we value in our lives should shine through for others to see. The clutter and piles of junk we collect in life will only reflect chaos and lack of vision. 

We must pay close attention to the things we toss aside and the things we decide to keep. In Hebrews 12:26-27 we’re warned, “His voice that time shook the earth to its foundations; this time—He’s told us this quite plainly—He’ll also rock the heavens: ‘One last shaking, from top to bottom, stem to stern.’ The phrase ‘one last shaking’ means a thorough housecleaning, getting rid of all the historical and religious junk so that the unshakeable essentials stand clear and uncluttered.” (The Message) 

We need to get out our sifter and make sure we are catching all the gold pieces that life has to offer and then get rid of the junk. Our lives should reflect direction, purpose, and vision. People will see what is valuable and important in our lives once we strip away the junk, and it will set an example for others to follow. They will want what we have to offer and our lives will bring honor to God. 

Excerpt from "Life is a Buffet So What's On Your Plate?" Copyright © 2009 by Polly Boyette  “All rights reserved.”

No comments:

Post a Comment