The Closet

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When you awake from a much needed sleep with a crash and cannot begin to find the source of the catastrophe, it’s logical to determine you were dreaming…right?

Well, until later in the day when you need something from the closet…
And find all of the clothes and boxes have collapsed onto the floor!

First thought?
It may be time to purge.
‘Ya think?

Too much stuff…too many clothes…too many “keepsakes”…

Throwing away the pileup…cleaning out the cobwebs…
A couple of days later and a couple of coats of paint…
A trip to the neighborhood hardware store for better boxes and cubbies…
Ta-daah!

A new closet.
No more skeletons.
No more idols.
Everything in. its. place.

Neat and tidy…
Haha!!
If only it were so easy.

Never be surprised at the crumbling of an idol or the disclosure of a skeleton”
~Lord Acton

When you have come to know and love Christ, the worst thing that can happen is to sense His fellowship retreating from you. I had to surrender. “I’ll give You the key,” I said sadly, “but You’ll have to open the closet and clean it out. I haven’t the strength to do it.”

“I know,” He said. “I know you haven’t. Just give me the key. Just authorize me to take care of that closet and I will.” So with trembling fingers I passed the key to Him. He took it from my hand, walked over to the door, opened it, entered it, took out all the putrefying stuff that was rotting there, and threw it away. Then He cleaned the closet and painted it, fixed it up, doing it all in a moment’s time. Oh, what victory and release to have that dead thing out of my life!

~excerpt from, “My Heart Christ’s Home” by Robert Boyd Munger

Have I tried to hide my sins as people normally do,
hiding my guilt in a closet?
~Job

O God, let the secrets of my heart be uncovered,
and let my wandering thoughts be tested:
See if there is any way of sorrow in me,
and be my guide in the eternal way.
~Psalm 139:23-24 (BBE)

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12 responses »

  1. this is awesome, red. Even though I hate moving, I find a natural purging that’s involved in the process…. I think spiritual “moving” does the same thing to us.

    And, well, so should spring cleaning, I suppose. Maybe that’s why lent/easter comes in the spring for us Northern Hemisphere types! 🙂

  2. Yes, Mandy, spiritual moving doesn’t happen much without the disclosure…and the purging. I seem to be experiencing Lent out of season. 😕

    I really hate it too, Ric. Necessary. And worth the time it takes, but not fun…not at all. (Thanks for inspiring my new header. I love that photograph. Was it in your yard?)

  3. Michelle you are right it is never easy to clean the skeletons out of our closets. The longer we keep them hidden, the harder it becomes.

    I think its mostly the fear of our inability to deal with these skeletons. We prefer inertia to risking emotional pain.

    My friends of religious faith find the strength to face their skeletons by trusting that whatever comes is in God’s plan for them, they trust God, and surrender their will to his.

    Being an Atheist I am not much into surrendering control. 🙂 I have gained sufficient faith in myself to believe I can persevere through whatever pain I may have to endure to make those skeletons go away.

    I have the strength to persevere. I lack the strength to give up control and surrender.

    It does take the strength of faith to help us overcome the fear of what is hiding in our closet, or anywhere else.

    Now dealing with the dust on my furniture, and the cobwebs of short term memory lost from my aging mind, is another story. 🙂

  4. I’m glad she did, Ric! I might have a new drawing for the calendar I hope to publish, someday…if He is willing. 🙂

    The dog hair on the furniture and the dust on the bookshelves…UGH!! I understand, all too well, the lack of strength to clean that mess! 😉

    However, Ed, I also don’t have enough faith in myself to take care of my skeletons. You must have a much stronger ability than me!! Without God cleaning my closet, the stink and fear of what is dead within keeps me in a state of inertia. I think that’s why some of us tend to hold on to our skeletons for so long, fear of looking them in the face and the inability to clean them out…

    But God.

    I really don’t know how people manage without Him. But, since you don’t believe He’s there…what else do you have except your own abilities in which to place your faith? (And please, don’t take that as a flippant or disrespectful comment. I am not meaning to challenge as much as wondering…where do Atheists go for reconciliation…for cleansing…for forgiveness? Is it just a non-issue?)

  5. Good question Michelle, thanks for asking. It gives me a chance to talk about my favorite subject, me. 🙂

    Finding faith in myself was exactly how I survived my troubled childhood.

    The circumstances of our lives lead us to finding, or if we are unlucky not finding, the faith we need.

    For the first 18 years of my life everyone I know believed in religious faith. I was raised to believe in God. I went to religious training, first in my mothers Protestant church, then after she died, in my father’s Catholic church. I confessed my sins, and received Holy Communion.

    Nothing was helping my depression, and I did give up on life and tried to commit suicide. When this failed I decide to focus on just surviving the next hour, day, week. I studied depression in the Library and read about people who had overcame it, the life of Buckminster Fuller, scientist, poet, visionary, who was crazy by some standards, was one of my first guide.

    Once I proved that I could survive, I gained the confidence to live, to take the emotional risk needed for joy and love. Although I will admit I still have a ways to go on the love part, as evidenced by my four failed relationships. 🙂

    We are all different. Finding faith is a personal journey. People may help guide us in the right direction, but in end we will discover for ourselves when we have found the faith we need.

  6. Sorry I realized I did not answer your question:

    “where do Atheists go for reconciliation…for cleansing…for forgiveness? Is it just a non-issue?”

    Speaking only for myself, my relationships are with people, not the God of religion. If I have hurt someone, and I feel I need forgiveness, I seek that person out. If there is something I can do for them I do it. If not I focus on the present, not the past, and get one with life.

    I may still feel bad for a while, but hopefully I will find enough positive energy in my current life to not dwell on the past.

  7. Hey, Ed! I’m glad you don’t mind my questions. I do tend to ask lots and sometimes I may overstep, just let me know if I do…please.

    You have mentioned your upbringing before. I do remember the turmoil of your early years and the suicide attempt. It’s so good to know you found a way to overcome the depression (I take medication, otherwise, I’m a mess!). How old were you when your mother passed away? I can’t imagine that type of pain for anyone, but most especially for a child. I lost my grandfather when I was eight…and as hard as that was, he wasn’t in my life every day. A mother or father passing away is an unspeakable loss. I am sorry for all the pain you endured so early in life.

    So much of what is taught in churches seems to be reduced to rituals for most people. I suppose it’s because every other religion is full of religious practices, and in some forms of Christianity that is true, as well.

    I don’t believe in religion. I think religion is a bunch of worthless energy placed in gods of our own making. I believe I have a relationship with the true, living God of the Old Testament in the person of Jesus Christ — the Messiah spoken of in the ancient Hebrew texts, the one mentioned in the Garden who would take away the curse of our sins, the seed who would come to save all of Israel, and any among the nations (the Gentiles) who put their trust in Him. He wasn’t just a man in history, but the One and only true God-man.

    I asked about the need for forgiveness, cleansing, and reconciliation because I know I am dead in my sins without Jesus, and I want to be clean before the Lord. It’s not by anything I have done — no good works, rituals, or religion on my part — but only by the Grace of God. I could never be good enough to earn salvation. Jesus’ blood covers my sins and I know I’ve been forgiven for He promised if I put my faith in Him, I would be covered. He did the work and I get the benefits…a conscience wiped clean.

    You said you may still feel bad, but you try to find enough positive energy to move forward. I’ve never been able to really do that. So yeah, in me I don’t have enough energy, or faith. I do feel I need a Savior.

    It never ceases to amaze me how we have so many diverse beliefs on this earth…

  8. Michelle, it is great that your faith excites you so much. The more passionate we are about our faith the better we can use it to help us live the best life we can.

    Faith is so important because it gives us the ability to persevere through the worst circumstances life can throw at us.

    Our emotional disposition, being more, or less, prone to being depressed for example, I think comes primarily from emotions we inherit from our parents, and the family life we experienced growing up. Finding faith will change how we act, I’m not sure it changes our core personality that much. It will hopefully help us overcome any predisposition towards negative emotions we may have.

    The more I interact with my Christian friends the fewer differences I see in how we live in the world, and how well, or poorly, we act towards our neighbors.

    Christians and Atheist share the same range of emotional traits, having more, or less confidence, and being more, or less pre-disposed to depression.

    We all go through the same process when trying to deal with a problem. We analyze it, seek help, and try to choose the best option. The differences are 1) Christian seek help from God, and Atheist use other sources, 2) believing that there is a better life awaiting them in Heaven gives Christians a degree of comfort, which Atheist don’t seem to need.

  9. I hear you, Ed. Interacting with you, and other non-Christians, I’ve learned we’re not so different. We all struggle.

    😕

    😐

    🙂

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