I have a beautiful green chair that sits in my bedroom. It’s your typical “comfy chair” that is big enough for you to actually curl up in- although in front of it also sits an over sized ottoman on which you may stretch your legs out upon if you so choose.
I can remember being so excited when this chair came to live in our home- a gift from a treasured friend that was moving and needed to downsize.
I spent a good amount of time trying to decide the best place for my new comfy green chair to go. You see, this chair, I had decided, was destined to become my new special place to spend time with the Father. I could just picture myself sitting there quietly before Him, soaking in His presence, or delving into His word my Bible in one hand and a hot cup of coffee in the other. I even purchased a soft and cozy blanket to lie on the back of it completing the resounding invitation of the chair to come, sit and relax.
During the first week of ownership I did sit in my beautiful green chair at least twice. It was as comfy as I imagined it would be and I fully enjoyed time with the Lord feeling warm and cozy all the while. Every time I passed by the chair I would have a tingle of pleasure within looking forward to my next time that I would be able to just sit and “be.” Deciding that the best place for it was in my bedroom became confirmed as I knew that this was where I was able to close the door, shut out the rest of the world and really sit quietly before Him.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before my beautiful chair became a “catch-all” for anything that I didn’t want to take the time to deal with right that second. It became much easier to just throw something on “the chair” than it was to actually take the time to put it where it belonged.
Clothes, papers, books…unmatched socks, my camera, things that the children had left in my room… you get the picture.
This was never intentionally thought out. As a matter of fact, anytime I placed something in the chair it was only suppose to be a temporary placement until I could get back and deal with it. I never meant to have all of that clutter in the chair but always seemed to be distracted by something that would draw me away from dealing with the clutter that I had created.
Passing by the chair at that point left me with feelings not of pleasure and anticipation, but instead of dread and discouragement at the thought of having to deal with all that I had allowed to accumulate.
Eventually becoming disgusted with myself, and “encouraged” by a few casual comments by my sweet husband who dislikes clutter but has come to accept that a certain amount of it will be a part of his life due to the fact that we are now one, I would build myself up and decide “today I am going to clean off the chair.”
As soon as I was finished I would be flooded with relief and again I would admire my beautiful chair which invited me to come, sit and enjoy quiet time before the Father. The clutter that had accumulated had prevented me from spending time with the Lord in that place.
I would like to say that after I cleaned off the chair those first few times I really learned my lesson, made different choices and never allowed myself to re-clutter the chair again. Unfortunately, I’m sure that you have guessed, that is not the case. My beautiful green chair has become a proverbial thorn in my side as it serves as a constant reminder of my lack of discipline in this area. It might not be so bad if it was only the chair but have we discussed the top of my dresser?
O.k. so this blog lends itself to you knowing me better and better. I will probably never be accused of being a neat freak. My very closest friends can stifle their laughter at this point….thank you very much. The Lord blessed me with a husband who loves me despite my clutter accumulating tendencies but who I also know is patiently waiting for me to come up higher in this area. I will end this topic with I am not where I use to be and with God’s help I will continue working toward where I need to be. It would make me feel better I think if someone else tells me that one of their New Year’s Resolutions is to keep the chair in their room and the top of their dresser de-cluttered and organized.
In all of this talk about de-cluttering I wonder, how many women have hearts that resemble the green chair in my bedroom?
As we walk on this journey each of us, on a daily basis have the opportunity to pick up “stuff.” Hurt, anger, disappointment….rejection, abandonment, jealousy…discontentment, resentment….you get the picture. We also have the opportunity to either deal with that “stuff” in the right way- or to allow it to remain within our hearts un dealt with.
I have found on my journey that it is much better for me if I deal with heart “stuff” right away rather than to allow my heart to become cluttered. I have had to learn to quickly deal with issues because the longer they remain un dealt with the larger and more consuming they become within me. Like that chair the pile just continues to grow along with the dread of having to go back and deal with each issue and whatever pain will accompany it.
The process by which we maintain an uncluttered heart is by dealing with each issues as it comes. One by one we submit each painful issue to our Father allowing Him to help us deal with them and then put them where they belong. Sometimes we choose to forgive and we throw them into the Sea of Forgetfulness, sometimes all we are able to do is lay them and leave them at the foot of the cross trusting that if we leave them there with Him He will carry them for us, and other times the Holy Spirit is able to speak right to that particular issue helping us to be absent from the sting, heal from the wound or have peace in the midst of a difficult situation.
When we run from the Father instead of to Him with our hurt, anger and other clutter we are only keeping ourselves from the very one who is able to cleanse, restore, heal and make whole. When our hearts are full of clutter it hinders our ability to be at peace, to hear His voice and to follow His leading.
Proverbs 4:23 in the amplified Bible states “Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.” According to Strong’s concordance, this word “keep,” means to care for and to maintain. If out of our hearts flow the springs of life we don’t want there to be any clutter blocking the way!
As much as I desire in this new year to maintain that beautiful green chair in my bedroom, keeping it from becoming cluttered with the “stuff” of life, I so much more desire to determine my heart to be a clutter-free zone so that it will remain healthy and fertile ground in which the Father can continue to plant seeds of life… I encourage you to make the same commitment.