Clearing the Clutter

Do you remember what Jesus said that woman had to do to find the coin she’d lost? She lit a lamp, swept her house, and searched until she found it. Her cleaning brought reward.

I was talking with a friend recently who has been cleaning out his closet. It must be a big one, because he discovered, much to his surprise, that he had over thirty pairs of shoes, some of them still in their boxes, never worn. His patient wife helped him to reduce the collection, and he was able to bless a local ministry with the excess.

Cleaning can be a good thing.

There is never a bad time to clean house—before we leave for the field and while we’re on the field.

Clearing away the clutter of life helps us to travel lighter.

Unlike many of you today, we were able to bring a crate overseas when we first left the field. We were newly married, and I didn’t think we had that much stuff, but when I finally opened the crate some eighteen months later, I opened boxes and asked myself, “Why in the world did I pack that?”

Before you pack, take the time to ask the Lord to open your eyes to the superfluous stuff you own and then bless others with it, whether you sell it in a yard sale or give it away. People will always be blessed by a good deal, and you can build up some of your financial support.

If there are some earthly treasures you feel you must keep, try to stay away from storage by instead entrusting it with a family member or friend. Just make sure you have some kind of agreement with them, so no hard feelings develop.

Living light helps us to better handle sudden changes.

When security issues make for a quick departure, the less you have, the less upset you’ll feel for having to leave something behind. What things are weighing you down today? What can be sold or given away to lighten your load?

Do some experiments by choosing to live off of a certain number of outfits, shoes, towels, and other items that make up your daily life. Don’t touch anything else in your closet for the next week or month and see how you do. You can also do this by keeping your closet or drawers organized by placing everything you wear within a month’s period in one section. This will show you what you’re not using that can be removed. Yes, you’ll need to account for seasons, but not by much.

May the Lord not only teach us to number our days but to number our needs versus our wants.

When we proactively choose to clear out the clutter in our lives, we give the Lord margin to free us up for greater flexibility in service. Without the extra U-Haul of stuff, we can more easily proclaim, “Wherever He leads, I’ll go.”

Grace and Peace.

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