I cleaned out my closet this week. It’s not my favorite household task but it was getting to the point where I couldn’t find anything or even walk in my closet without having to hurdle items that were on the floor. While I organized, straightened and weeded out old clothes, I also sneezed, coughed and could barely open my eyes due to my dust mite allergy! I was a mess, but when the project was completed a number of hours later, there was freedom and peace that resulted from this transformed space. There is more order in my life now. In fact every time I walk into my closet, I feel this sense of relief that I don’t have to deal with the unwanted obstacles that slow me down when I’m in there.
I thought, this is a lot like our lives. We have so many bad habits, thoughts and unnecessary activities that we cram into our own little closets. We let them pile up to the point where we can’t even move because they overwhelm us. It eventually takes a decision to discipline ourselves to clean out our lives and get rid of the things that bog us down. Sometimes it takes time to do the job and it definitely takes the help of a fellow cleaner, the Holy Spirit to sweep out the trash in our lives. In Mark 7:20-23, Jesus said, “What comes out of a man is what makes him ‘unclean.” For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean.’”
What’s in your closet that needs cleaning? Maybe it’s fear or worry. Perhaps it’s lust or love of money. It could be discontent. Do we have ourselves so busy with work or volunteer activities that there is no time left for God? If so, your closet needs to be cleaned to make room for Him. Cleaning our life closet isn’t always easy. It takes a conscious decision and desire to be clean, then it takes action. At times, purging the things that take us away from a more orderly relationship with God is painful because we don’t want to let them go but it’s necessary for peace in our lives.