Cleaning Out the Closet
Twice a year I try to clean out my closet. Unfortunately I am a bit of a hoarder. I spent so much of my early life without many clothes that I sometimes tend to go overboard, especially when I go to the thrift stores, especially the one down the street where clothes are very rarely over .25 a piece.
Usually thrift stores do not have a dressing room, so you can’t try anything on before you buy it. I have to estimate if something will fit. I will buy a few blouses, a pair of shoes, maybe a coat or two or some pants, wash them and put them in the closet. More than half the time I end up re-donating over half the items.
I haven’t been as determined to clean the closets and drawers as I used to be. I have diseases and medications that cause a lot of fatigue so I don’t always have as much energy as I want to. Besides that our schedule is mostly wrapped around visits to the doctor, infusions every other day, emergency room visits, stopping at the grocery store and then coming home to eat and lay down.
Our minds are like a closet. They can become cluttered at times with things that we just need to throw out. Events that have been disturbing, upsetting, hurtful or sad can stay up there for a very long time, until we decide it’s time to give them to God and move on.
I don’t have to tell you how hard it is to let go, especially of things that have hurt us, physically, mentally or emotionally in the past. They tend to play over and over again in our minds. Maybe a song, a smell, a sound, or something someone says brings those memories back to life. Stressful situations that may resemble something we went through in the past can bring it all to the fore front again.
Before I was a Christian, I used to practice an exercise in my mind so I could get to sleep and not keep replaying problems and situations over and over again in my mind, looking for answers and solutions that just wouldn’t come and going through a bunch of scenarios that could be the outcome of these problems.
I would picture my mind as this big, huge room with all this stuff thrown around. I would methodically go to each item and pick it up. If it was something I couldn’t take care of on my own, I would put in a file cabinet in the room to be attended to later. If it was something that was already solved, but not the way I wanted, and was still hanging around, I would throw it in the trash. If it was something that I needed to attend to soon, I would put in a to-do box.
Then I would take a broom and sweep up the scraps and take down the cobwebs off the walls. Long before I was finished, I had fallen asleep. After I became a Christian and came to understand that we are not responsible for taking care of everyone’s problem and that certain ones needed to be resolved by God, cleaning the room in my mind became much easier.
We have to evaluate everything that comes to us. Is it our problem, do we have a solution, can we actually be of help, or is this something God needs to take care of? Sometimes we need to clean out our closets and throw away the junk.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.