Isn’t it strange how clutter just accumulates? It starts out as good things, useful things, needed things, even valuable things. Then it just gets lost in the pile as other things get piled onto it. And then after good things pile up, bad things begin to grow in it.
I have experience with clutter. I'm a former teenager and now a father of 5 and grandfather of 1. If a college or university somewhere would award lifetime credit for clutter, I would be Michael D. Stover, Ph.D. of clutter. Most perplexingly, I hate clutter. Now, there are certain things I keep nearby that I use somewhat regularly. And there are things on the table beside my chair that I'm through using, but as yet haven't put away. But I abhor clutter.
Did you know Jesus hates clutter? Before you show this to your teenagers in a fit of righteous indignation, read it all the way through. Jesus isn’t as concerned with the clutter beside your chair or in your garage or basement as He is with the clutter in your heart.
In Mark 11:15-17 we read where Jesus ran off the people in the Temple courts who were selling animals for sacrifices, exchanging money, and carrying burdens through as if it were a shortcut. Did you ever wonder why they were there in the first place? I’m sure, at least at the beginning, their motives were pure. Jews from all over the known world traveled to Jerusalem for the feast days. They would need to convert money from different regions to that which could be spent in Jerusalem. They would need a sacrifice in order to worship God according to the Law of Moses. The people selling animals and exchanging money were providing a valuable service to aid people in worshipping God. At least at the beginning.
Evidently by the time of the incident in Mark 11 things had changed. Jesus accused them of turning the Temple into a den of thieves. Now their efforts were not motivated by worship and service, but by greed and selfishness. Now sacrifice-selling and money-changing were big business. Now the outer courts of the magnificent Temple, the place where God manifested His presence among His people, were nothing more than a marketplace and a common thoroughfare. Jesus hates clutter because it accumulates and gets in the way. Before the people could worship God, they had to endure the thievery and hassle of being robbed and taken advantage of – all in the name of worship.
Isn’t it strange how clutter just accumulates? It starts out as good things, useful things, needed things, even valuable things. Then it just gets lost in the pile as other things get piled onto it. And then after good things pile up, bad things begin to grow in it. Have you ever found a leftover bowl of something in your teenager’s room that looked like a science project? It was a bowl of something wonderful, but left alone to clutter up the room, fuzzy stuff began to grow.
When we allow clutter to accumulate in our lives it gets in the way of everything. Good things can pile up until we are so busy we can’t find God’s best in the middle of the mess. And then bad stuff begins to grow from our busyness.
Take some time to examine your heart today and ask God to reveal the clutter. Sometimes we just get so accustomed to it being around that we overlook it, we think it is necessary, and insist we cannot do without it. Until someone not accustomed to seeing it brings it to our attention. Then we’re embarrassed and wonder how things got this bad. Listen to the sweet inner voice of the Spirit as He points out things that clutter up your life and prevent us from enjoying God's best. And then clean your spiritual house. Doesn't a clean, clutter-free house feel refreshing?
For more musings about my random thoughts, writing and editorial projects, or if you're just nosey, visit my blog at http://michaeldstover70.wix.com/michaeldstover