It has been 72 days since we dropped off the initial U-Haul full of possessions at our current residence.
One cannot comprehend the amount of stuff they have obtained until they decide to move. 72 days ago, I changed jobs and consequently caused my family to change cities, which consequently caused us to change homes. With those changes – I learned firsthand how much stuff we had accumulated over the last five years.
When I moved into our previous home – I was a single, 22-year-old kid, right out of college. The only thing I had to move was a bedroom. Since then, I have gained a wife and a baby girl… Along with all of their stuff.
72 days. 10 Weeks. 1,728 hours. 103,680 minutes. 6,220,800 seconds. And my garage still looks like terrible.
Every day I open the garage and run to the switch inside because I don’t want my new neighbors to judge my clutter. Last week I opened the garage and I became enraged. My wife was gone for work and my little girl with the grandparents since I had to work late several days in a row. I was lonely. I had eaten hamburger helper for three meals straight. I was tired of folding laundry. And when I opened the garage door, it was all that I could take. I found myself angry and disgusted.
In the moment, I wasn’t just looking at my cluttered garage – I was looking at my life. In my mind’s eye, I was staring at Chad.
Unkempt. Unfinished. Junky. Dusty. Disorganized. In the way.
I was frustrated because my garage became symbolic of my soul. So many “necessary things” cluttering the way. Every time I peer inside my spiritual state I see so much stuff between me and God. So many things that remind me I’m nowhere near where I’m supposed to be.
Every day I walk through this messy garage and pretend that once I’m inside, comfortable, probably watching Prison Break – that the mess isn’t that big of a deal. So, it seems to be in my walk with God. I get busy about the ministry. I watch Furtick on the treadmill every Monday. I preach.
I avoid the facts that I have let the accoutrements of ministry take the place of my alone time with God. I rush past all the convictions and reminders and I hustle about my way. Hustling is what I’m comfortable with. What a foolish man I am. Overlooking the moments of intimacy I’m allowed with my Savior. Ignoring the reality that I have a God who loves me enough to confront my clutter. God is not beckoning me to clean it up alone – but pleading that I implore his help with the task.
Why won’t I clean up the clutter? Is it because I’m afraid to be bare and open? Is it because I know it’s going to be hard work? Is it because I may have to leave the garage door open in the process and people around me are going to see how bad it really is? Actually – it’s ALL THE ABOVE.
- Bare and Open = Means I have to become comfortable with just myself.
- Hard Work = Well, it equals hard work.
- Leaving the garage door open = being vulnerable and letting people see who I really am.
“Come near to God and He will come near to you…” James 4:8
This is an attempt to come close – it’s an endeavor to confront my clutter.
**WARNING** // The garage door is opening. It’s not pretty, but it is necessary.
72 days. My wife was able to park her vehicle in the garage last night. Is the project completely finished? Absolutely not. But I started.
Likewise, I’m decluttering my life. 72 days. I prayed this morning. I really prayed. Uninterrupted, phone off, alone with Jesus. 72 days. I read my Bible today. I really read it. Felt the leather, dropped a few tears on the pages, highlighted a memorable passage.
I encourage you to, also. Start. One item at a time. One memory at a time. One discipline at a time.