Over the last few weekends I have endeavoured to start spring cleaning around my house. All was going well until… I looked into my study and realised my job had just quadrupled. Paperwork, books, other resources, external hard drives, suit cases and that forgotten exercise bike…You know exactly what I’m talking about.
When September arrives for some reason we get the urge to clean. We open windows to air the house out, clean gutters, sweep off alfresco areas and throw out that thing that has been sitting in the back corner of the fridge that kind of looks like it has a pulse. The spring clean is a time to bring renewal and freshness back into our homes after winter.
If we are honest with ourselves our homes aren’t the only things that could use a spring clean. Throughout the year we find ourselves with more responsibilities at work, even more commitments at church and the unfinished projects at home that were started two years ago. All these different things added together weigh down our hearts—like that cupboard you just shoved everything into as a kid.
There are many different reasons why we don’t say NO to these things that weigh us down. Things like pride and what other people may think of you if you do say no. Whether you have taken on so many commitments that your diary is overflowing or you can’t decide what commitments you can get rid of, the problem stays the same. All this mess, all this ‘stuff’ that is jumbled up and mixed together in our lives, it wedges between us and Jesus.
In 2 Corinthians 4:6 Paul writes that God wants to shine His light through us to everyone else. However when we try to add God’s goodness without letting go of other ‘stuff’, God’s light can’t shine through all the business. It becomes lost in all the clutter that is in our lives.
Here are some steps to help you give your life a bit of a spruce up.
Make a list.
Make a list of the areas in your life that you would like to clean up a bit. Everyone will have a different looking list. Your list might include things like:
- Relationship with Jesus
- Personal Friendships
- Health and Fitness
Make a list of things that you might need to throw out.
We hoard old habits because we are afraid of letting go of our past and fear we won’t be fully in control of our future. Some things we may need to let go of:
- Fear, anxiety, worry or doubt
- Guilt or Shame
- Legalism and Self-righteousness
Clean and Restock.
Well, once you’ve pulled your life apart it is time to start cleaning and replacing the things that need to stay. This process can be a little overwhelming. However, God has given us some keys to help us make the tough decision on where to put the things of our life.
- Read – The Bible is a great place to start. It is full of advice.
- Pray – Ask God to help us out with some wisdom and understanding when it comes to deciding what to throw out and what to keep.
- Community – Surround yourself with people that can hold you accountable, answer questions and encourage you through your journey.
Each of our lives look different and our lists won’t be the same and your list may take quite a while to move through, but the key to sticking with finishing your spring cleaning is to stay in communication with Jesus.
Have a great September holiday break and good luck with your spring cleaning.
-Simon Hutton, Chaplain