Five years ago, when we were moving into a new home, our timing couldn't have been worse. It was in September and I had just moved to a new classroom and a new grade so I was learning new curriculum as well. Also, since my husband works at a college, things were starting to get very busy for him as well. At the same time, he had decided that although he was planning on cutting back on his freelance work, it wasn't quite ready to give up some of the equipment he would no longer be using... just in case, LOL!
You guessed it. Boxes of things he didn't need but might need in the future were tucked into the closet in the office to be sorted through later... just in case. We had a busy year in 2006. We figured we'd go through the stuff in the summer of 2007. Then, my husband got a big free-lance job that summer in addition to his regular job and my summer was busy as well. Besides, when I had spare time, I wanted to be zooming around the countryside. Summer is short in Minnesota! I had two weeks at Christmas time. We'd wait until December 2007. The stuff was out of the way and while I'd like to store some things in that closet space if I had it, I was doing fine without it.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2007...
You guessed it. We didn't get to the closet in December. I was in treatment until the last part of August 2008. I was not in the mood to dig through stuff and physically, I just did not have the strength to do much. My husband had his hands full working and caring for me so we'd do it when I got stronger.
I went back to work in September 2008. It was rough after being a semi-invalid for eight months. Radiation saps you of all of your strength and it take awhile to recover. We would get to that closet when I was stronger. We'd do it in December 2008 but in December 2008, I had a suspicious mammogram. We discovered it was a false alarm a couple of days before Christmas. I didn't want to go through that closet, I wanted to celebrate life! Besides, the stuff in there wasn't bothering me any... it was just there.
I'd look at that closet sometimes and think how nice it would be to be able to put things in it. I'd get to it when I really had some time... during summer break in 2009. Oops... there were a lot of workshops I had to go to, there was summer school to teach and my husband was once again doing some additional work. There was always Christmas.
One night in December, after I logged out of CB, I turned and looked at that closet. The following week would be the last week of school before winter break. We weren't going anywhere this year, our son was going to be in Chicago with his fiancee's family. It would be the perfect time to
clean out that closet.
I went to bed not knowing that I wouldn't be home the next morning. I'd be having brain surgery...
Today, after four years, I started pulling boxes out of that closet and opening them up. Some things were boxes of equipment I set aside for my husband to move into the crawl space this weekend if he wants to keep it or haul away if he doesn't. There were boxes of things which were obsolete which I hauled out to trash and there were things I didn't know were there. It seems that a couple of my boxes were accidentally placed in that closet. They contained things I thought I had lost somewhere along the way. Just the other day I'd thought of a book I'd once read and even went so far as to think, "I wonder what ever happened to that book? I must have sold it when I sold some others a few years back." Tonight I found that book. I found other little "treasures" I'd forgotten I had. The old saying, "out of sight, out of mind" was certainly true in my case.
After a lot of hard work, my closet is nearly ready to be truly used. The things my husband needs to go through and then move are neatly stacked and ready for him. He's going to raise one of the shelves for me and perhaps put in an additional one for me as well. We've made a "date", LOL!
It feels good to have that closet cleaned out and ready... er... almost ready to use.
All this cleaning and sorting go me to thinking about closets in our hearts and minds. Far too often, instead of getting rid of "stuff" we don't need, we shove it into a spiritual closet and slam the door shut. We're aware that there is "junk" behind the closed doors and we intend to get rid of it... when we have the time. The problem is, the junk is taking up space and it is of no use to us. In fact, it can even be a hindrance!
If we wait for the right time to clean out our closets, it will never happen. The enemy hates "housecleaning" and is always ready with a list of reasons why we should put it off or why we shouldn't do that at all. Every time we think about discarding junk in our lives, you can be sure he will be there shrieking, "But you might need that!"
A child of God does not need junk! The good news is, you do not have to clean out the junk alone. Indeed, you can't. The Holy Spirit is standing by ready to help you and no one can clean out junk like the Holy Spirit!