My office looked far better before I’d started cleaning again!
Let me explain. This particular room had been a catch-all for decades. To create needed office and writing space, I’d already gone through tons of STUFF and filled bag after bag for trash collection. (Yes, I’m VERY generous to my trash man at Christmas – he earns it!!!)
After moving my writing table into the room, I thought my office looked pretty good. (Well, comparatively good, from the standpoint of it no longer being full of STUFF.)
But there remained areas that I had willfully ignored. Places that I wouldn’t have wanted you to see. I’m talking about the spaces concealed inside dresser drawers and behind closet doors. Even though the office looked outwardly acceptable, it still held lots of hidden STUFF that prevented it from being truly clean.
And so I’ve finally tackled the dresser drawers. The closet will soon follow. The immediate result? As STUFF is getting pulled out into the open, my office is looking worse rather than better.
But this room is actually in the best shape that its been in!
The STUFF that’s been hidden away is being brought into the open. Trash bags are being filled for garbage day. Gently used items sit in piles designated for donation. And some forgotten treasures have surfaced to be enjoyed once again.
This reminds me of how God works in our lives.
We like to think our lives look pretty decent. Then God makes it clear that He’s not going to ignore the hidden clutter in our hearts any longer. We hope He’ll work quickly and
• discretely cart away our irritating character flaws and hang-ups.
• break up our old habits into small, easily discarded (or ignored) pieces.
• allow us to glance causally through the pages of our memory without having to look closely at our own actions and choices.
We want the quick overhaul that allows us to maintain appearances.
God settles in for a much deeper renovation.
He meticulously picks through what we’ve preferred to keep hidden behind our closed drawers and doors. And yes, in the process He digs up trash such as envy, jealousy, and anger (seems like I’ve read about those things somewhere). Having our STUFF opened up makes our lives uncomfortable and messy. For a time.
But as we submit to His cleaning, we find that He creates room for His love, joy, and peace to flourish (hmmm… that list sounds familiar too!!!) With more and more room for Him to inhabit, perhaps we eventually experience the true freedom that comes from no longer worrying about what others may see when they examine our lives closely.
Working in my office to clean out what has been hidden by dresser drawers and closet doors is reminding me of what Jesus once said to some religious leaders;
For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and self-indulgence!
(Matthew 22: 25 NLT)
I want my office to be clean, even in the unseen places. I want the same for my life.
How about you?