CLEANING THE CLOSETS
My “passion” for all things money began when I was just a toddler. My mom tells me that I rounded up every coin in the house and put it in my play purse [along with her car keys and my dad’s tools]! My “calling and mission” to teach the truth about money, however, came over 15 years ago when Howard Dayton through Luke 16: 11 taught me that money [worldly wealth] was lowest form of riches.
“If, therefore, you have not been faithful in the use of worldly wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you?”(NASB)
Today, I want to introduce you to my friend, “Sweets” (that’s her grandmother name and fits her to a T!). She understands true riches better than almost anyone I know. She knows her days on earth are short and she is living every moment with intentionality. What a difference she makes! This week she wrote so vividly about worldly wealth [physical things] as an indicator of spiritual things, I had to share it. With permission, here is Sweets’ post in its entirety:
As the cancer journey continues, I realize I need to go through some piles of my “stuff” & do some cleaning so that Mike & the girls can be relieved of that duty as time goes on. I know some of my things & a lot of my stuff was important at one time in my life, but have become things that are no longer needed. OK, I’ll admit it, sometimes I just shake my head at myself that it was ever important & wonder what I was thinking when that item was acquired!
Have you ever noticed when you have a bunch of cleaning to do, that it’s easier to just close the door of the room in question & walk away? I’ve been thinking about that recently as I’ve looked at the corners of my little world that need a good cleaning out. All the drawers & closets that house old bills & papers, shoes I felt I couldn’t live without & the latest & greatest gadget that became dated the minute it was purchased! Even the car I was sure would always look pristine has to get a second look. It seems like there’s just too much to do, so I turn around & run!
It would be a lot easier to clean up stuff if there just wasn’t so much of it! It’s crazy that I can house so much & hold on to things! I’ve found, though, that if I’ll just get 1 bag together, I can much more easily donate it or throw it away. Just pick away at things instead of demanding I get the whole project done at once! So, 1 drawer or 1 bag at a time, is more my speed. A few weeks ago, I took 1 bag to the shredder, then in a few days, another bag & now the project is done!
My point’s made… a bit at a time. Before you know it, success! 1 bag of clothes works for me. I donate to a nearby children’s orphanage clothing box & it’s good for both the children’s home & me! But, there’s too much to do it all at once! I keep plugging away & make a run to the donation box. 1 box down, make another run to the box; 1 bag completed, make another run to the box!
My sin, guilt, selfishness, stubbornness & self-absorption seem to pile up in my life, too! Piles of bitterness, resentment, failings & laziness lay around in my life & get in the way of living. They get in the way of freedom in Christ Jesus! So, I’m thinking I gotta make a run to the cross & leave some stuff there! There’s so much that I’ve allowed into my life, that sometimes all I can do is drag a small amount, but if that’s all I can do, I still gotta make that run! When I gather up that pride, stuff it in the bag & run it to Jesus, then life is better. It’s fuller & worth the living. It’s getting those corners clean & taking the heaviness of sin & putting it where it belongs. At the cross!
What Jesus did at the cross makes running to the cross an everyday event! He can take the burden from me, deal with all the junk & still love me at the end of the day. So, gonna’ make a run to the cross- every day! Confess to Jesus that I’ve been gathering & cherishing all this stuff & now I’m leaving it with Him.
This isn’t the stuff that can be seen easily- like the purple blouse I bought on sale & have never worn- it’s the hurt & disappointment. It’s the harsh words, estrangement & lack of follow-through from others. It’s the abandonment issues & abuses faced. The alcohol that ruins lives of families, abortion haunting the minds & hearts of precious women feeling they were out of choices, beatings, blame & hidden family secrets that have created piles of junk in lives that are heavy! Too heavy to cart alone! Yes, it’s all about the sin I lug around that gets so, so heavy!
I’m gonna make a run to the cross. I’m gonna leave some junk there that I don’t want to carry even another day! Some of this junk is what I created & some is not. Some is what I brought into my world by the choices I made & a lot of this stuff is what others decided for me. Some of which is tearing my insides apart because I didn’t decide what family I was born into or what parents I have, or where I lived as a child. Carrying the past of childhood into adulthood can be the worst! I want you to come with me! I want you to make a run to the cross, too. Make a run every day. Take something there & leave it. Take 1 bag or 1 box a day & never see it again.
Life is short & making a run to the cross can be done every day. Jesus asks us to come to Him. He’s waiting for us to make that run. So, let’s do it. Together.
Gotta go ’cause I’m gonna make a run to the cross!
If you’d like to follow Sweets’ journey, you can find her blog here: SWEETS SURRENDER