The last blog noted the clutter of motives that entangle our lives. Now it’s time for some cleaning.
I got a good taste of what this may be like recently. Here was the challenge: clean out our corner garden in the backyard. Sounds easy enough until you get a look at it. Weed-choked, thorn-infested bramble with no discernible beginning or ending. I was faced with an immediate dilemma. Where in the world do I start? It seemed the only way through was work the edges and move back.
And so it began. I cut, pruned, pulled, yanked, grabbed (very carefully with all the thorns), and tossed it all out in the yard.
I stopped and picked up the next day, this time to tackle the remaining bushes. More cutting and hacking. And then the really tough stuff. To get rid of the weeds and bramble, I was going to have to go for the roots. I dug and chopped and ripped out long tentacles that had burrowed in every conceivable part of the garden. But now it no longer looked like a garden, but a blown-up mine field.
But that’s where we wanted to go. Now we can start over with a new garden that is clean, clipped, and hopefully one day radiant.
It struck me in all my sweat that this is the inner work we need to do. The bramble of fears, the weeds of guilt, the thorns of pressure, the roots of shame–it all has to be cleaned out. This is the work that we hate to consider. And if we do, we don’t know even where to start. It will probably cause us pain. It will probably make us weary. And there may be times when we despair and think that we can’t do anymore.
But when it is done, there is something there that is clean and clipped. It is the our hearts–ready to live out of desire, ready to connect to God, ready to reflect glory. And hopefully one day we will look radiant.
So what about you? Are you ignoring the clutter? Or are you clearing it out?