January 7, 2011

Space Bags are NOT the answer

Yesterday afternoon, I saw a commercial for those oh-so-handy, "must have" Space Bags. Now, I don't discredit them for being useful under the right circumstances, but I was very bothered by hearing the quote that they are "THE ANSWER" to clutter in your home. REALLY??? A vacuum sealed bag is THE ANSWER? I think not. The "answer" is to get rid of the clutter. Get rid of those old clothes, ratty blankets, wrong sizes, wrong colors, wrong whatevers.
Now seriously, do you think I'd leave you with a blog solely about plastic bags? I'd never be so cruel. Let's dig a little deeper. What kinds of spiritual "Space Bags" are we using? What do we fill our time and thoughts and eyes and ears with, just to avoid dealing with the things that we really need to be de-cluttering from our lives? When I don't want to exercise, I get on Facebook. When I don't want to hear my husband's "encouragement" to stay away from junk food, I eat it in secret. When I don't want to deal with a child's rebellion in a heart-manner, I scream and shout and make them feel terrible. Does any of this sound familiar? The disciplines of KEEPING it all together and maintained are much more difficult than stuffing things into a space bag and shoving them into a closet to be dealt with later. I tell myself that the day will come when I lose 10 pounds, when I even take a walk farther than my mailbox, when I make healthier food choices, when I will sit down with my children and my Bible and help them to make sense of this crazy, crazy world. But all too often, I snatch up a Space Bag and get on with "life".

Enter God: Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. So after you have suffered a little while, He will restore, support and strengthen you, and He will place you on a firm foundation. (1 Peter 5:7, 10 NLT)

Isn't it funny how when HE enters the scene, HE makes everything clear. HE makes sense. HE turns you back to yourself, while turning you toward HIMSELF. HE is amazing. He shows us all the garbage, all the clutter, all the old "clothes" we've covered our true selves in, all the ratty garments, full of holes we try to disguise, all the wrong choices, wrong words, wrong sights, wrong whatevers. He shows us that He knows we've suffered, and that it's not His plan to leave us in that state. However, He NEVER hands us a Space Bag and says, "Here, cram all that junk in this bag and we'll check it out later". He wants us to "give all our worries and cares to Him, for He cares about us."
A new year is a wonderful time to take inventory of yourself. How many of last year's discouragements, angers, fears and worries are you bringing into this year? How many of them have you shoved into a spiritual Space Bag to deal with later, to be sentimental or guilty about, later? God wants it all, and He wants it now. He knows that He is the only one who can really be "The Answer" to the clutter in your life. Let's do some deep cleaning, together.