Declutter my heart, Lord.
That’s what I pray as I sort through papers and throw out broken toys and rummage through the board games in the closet to find the ones we no longer play.
There’s so much stuff. So much build-up over time.
We can start to feel bogged down.
Worried. Tired. Weary. Disappointed. Uncertain. Lacking direction.
Every single day we can get up and go through all the motions but not have purpose or passion for any of it.
After I finish decluttering inside the house, I clean out the garage and haul all the trash away and I marvel at how the finished product looks with all the muck cleared out.
This is what I want.
Clear out the cobwebs and the mold and the trash in the corners and the piles of junk, Lord.
We’ve been working on projects all over our home. Besides the organizing and cleaning, we’ve powerwashed the deck and the house.
This little machine is like a magic wand, wave it over a surface and it changes colors. Our gray deck turns a honey golden brown wood again and our house shines white instead of being splotched with the green of pollen build-up from nearby trees.
I love the instant feedback of this, shoot the water in the direction of the dirt and it comes clean. It’s washed away in an instant and shines like new.
Make me new, Lord.
Here’s the build-up again, how dirt collects over time and I don’t even realize it. Slowly, slowly, slowly it covers over the surface.
Until one day, it’s grimy and dull and it needs a water jet to show the difference.
Yesterday, I was on my hands and knees painting the newly washed deck with a stain to help protect it from water and dirt.
And this is also what I need: to clear away the dirt first before painting on any fancy finish or coating of shiny color.
I can try all I want to shine myself up on the outside, to look perfect and put-together.
But what I need is a deep cleansing. A de-cluttering and a washing down that only Christ can do…..and then I can put on the new person God plans for me to be.
I need a spring cleaning in my life and in my heart.
Declutter my heart. Clear out the distractions. Make me new.
Paul described this to the Ephesians:
to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:22-24 ESV).
He used the same idea in Colossians:
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you…12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. . Colossians 3:5, 12-14 ESV).
And then put on.
Maybe sometimes we forget the process,. We layer on new coats of varnish hoping we’ll look cleaner, brighter, shinier, and new, but it never works.
Before we can put on the new self…
Before we can put on compassion and kindness, humility, meekness, patience, forgiveness and love….
We need to put off the old self. We need to put to death all the earthly muck that builds up over time.
The Holy Spirit can do this work, but it takes us yielding.
We can ask Him to throw open the windows and let the fresh breeze blow through. Sweep out our corners. Throw out the broken and unnecessary. Use lemon-scented cleaners that mingle with the breeze and let us start fresh.
Give us a fresh perspective.
Reveal to us a fresh vision.
May we have a fresh start.
Re-fresh us with your Holy Spirit, Lord