When we built our house, there was only one thing that I really demanded be included in the design….a walk-in pantry. I had seen one in a model design and fell in love. I knew from experience what it was like not to have enough storage in your kitchen and your home. It’s frustrating, time and money consuming because you can never really see everything that is in the cabinets and closets. You end up buying items that you later find you already had pushed to the back of the highest shelf.
My pantry is a long narrow room that runs along the back wall of my kitchen and just wide enough for shelves on one side, across the back and room to move around a bit. It was perfect….for a while.
After time, I found myself, along with the rest of my family, using the pantry to store stuff that just didn’t seem to have another place to go. Big, bulky pots and pans begin collecting on the floor toward the back of the pantry. Then stuff got put in those pans and the pile started growing. It got so bad that I could barely get to the very back of the pantry and what little walk way we had started becoming narrower.
Trash bags that had fallen from their designated spot on the shelf stayed on the floor for months. No one bothered to pick them up and put them back, we just pushed them off to the side and figured we would eventually use them all up…so why put them away. Then, after about the 10th time of almost falling after stepping on those bags…I decided to clean the pantry.
At this point, you’re probably wondering if you are in the right “room” of A Martha Heart. What does the pantry have to do with Bible study and spending time at the Master’s feet? Here it is!
The pantry was designed for a purpose, but because of my laziness and unconcern, it had lost its main purpose. Don’t get me wrong…it was still usable, but not for what and how it was intended. When I finished cleaning and re-organizing my pantry, I was amazed. I threw away a huge trash bag full of “stuff” and out-dated food that had been hiding behind the good stuff. When I walk into my pantry now I feel inspired to cook and shop effectively. I know exactly what is in there and what is not.
Sometimes, my spiritual life becomes just like my pantry.
I was designed for purpose, God’s purpose. When I first started really understanding God’s will for my life, I was on fire! I was effective and useful. After many years of my spiritual walk, at times I don’t feel so effective and useful. I feel cluttered.
Stuff…good stuff, mind you…starts piling up in my spiritual life. Church involvement, community activities, working, hobbies, even family…all good stuff…but sometimes they crowd out my real purpose. And then there is all the trash I allow to build up in my life.
When I find myself “failing”, it’s time to clean out my spiritual pantry. Some junk needs to be thrown out, some commitments need to be let go or downsized, my family needs to be “picked up off the floor and put on a protective shelf” (so to speak).
God wants to use me, but I can’t be effective and useful if I allow my life to become cluttered with unnecessary “pots and pans”. Once I’ve “cleaned house”, I can see where I can be used by Him in the most effective and productive ways.
What is cluttering up your spiritual life? Do you need to do some cleaning?
For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them…Ephesians 2:10 hcsb