Thursday, August 31, 2006

Cleaning out the Closets

We have been busy cleaning the church out for months now. Cleaning out the belongings of a building with over 100 working rooms is no easy task. As with our own homes, we tend to fill whatever space we have with whatever belongings we can acquire. We keep things we do not need just because we have space for them. We fill closets until they get to the point where the door no longer opens.

I have learned in the last several weeks that our church has too many closets -- too many closets that have not been opened in decades. We also have many rooms that have not been organized in years. We have too much clutter, and something had to be done with all of the things we no longer use.

After two yards sales that brought in over $4700 to be used for missions, we turned to Craig's List with a posting for "Free Desks." Having never listed anything on Craig's List before, I have been amazed at the response! People are so eager to receive whatever it is that is free. I have recieved about 30 responses to this posting. Several students want a desk. Many non-profit organizations need desks. Other people simply need furniture to fill their empty space. I have met so many people this week who have come through the doors of our church eager to receive a free desk. They have left with a desk, a chair or two, and many other items as we have not allowed anyone to leave the building with just one thing! And, they have left with huge smiles on their faces.

Needless to say, I have learned a lot this week. We need to be better about cleaning out our clutter more often. We need to spend time periodically going through our closets and our rooms in an effort to get rid of what has not been used for a long time. We need to be careful about what we put in closets -- what we hide away to be dealt with another time. And, we need to constantly look at all that we have and make decisions to share a portion of what we have with those who need it.

The clutter in our lives does not limit itself to our homes or our workplaces. We all have things we are carrying that we need to let go of -- guilt, anger, bitterness, jealousy, and the list goes on and on. We all have "stuff" in our past or in our present that we are not particularly proud of -- stuff we have tried hard to hide away, craming it all into a dark closet in hopes that the door will never be opened by anyone but us. Furthermore, we all have something - no matter how big or how small - that can be shared with someone in need.

I think I'll go clean out some more closets.

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