In television comedies, like I Love Lucy, an actor opens a surreptitiously bulging door to a storage area and is buried in an avalanche of junk. Something similar happened one day when all three of my daughters visited my home. My youngest, Jenessa, tried to open the basement closet door.
A small pow-wow between the girls produced determined attitudes. They announced it was time to clean out the big-crowded basement closet and they would help. The basement closet is everyone’s typical basement closet. It’s the place where everyone’s junk gets tossed. Three daughters, a mom and dad, all pitch whatever they don’t want to think about, into this big walk-in closet.
The shelves go from floor to ceiling and they are peppered with big plastic bins. You know the kind of stuff that’s in those bins … the things that you just don’t have a clue where to put them. They are the things you want to store, because you can’t make yourself get rid of them. You tuck them away, close the lid and walk away.
But middle daughter Chandra headed down the stairs and said, “I’m facing the bins. I’m facing the clothes and boots I don’t want, the old CDs, the stacks of books. I’m facing it all.”
Just like that she pulled out one of her bins without realizing that our old Monopoly game that’s taped together (it’s a throwback to 1975 and escaped the bin storage), money torn and pieces missing, was quickly scattered across the floor.
There we were, all four of us scrunched into this closet looking for pieces of the game. There was some money; there was the thimble, a couple of green houses, a red hotel, and a Go Directly to Jail card. We started trying to put them all back in the box.
Jenessa said, “Mom, pieces of this game have been missing forever. We should really dump it all out and see what’s in it and go from there.”
And suddenly it dawned on me! That’s what we need to do today. We need to take a good long look at what’s in our hearts. We need to dump everything out and look at our motivations, our intentions, and our actions. We need to figure out where the words and feelings are coming from, why they’re in there, what it looks like, and if we have just taped up the box and shoved it on the shelf with pieces that are missing, torn or broken. We need to dump it all out today and take a look to see what we’ve got.
King David is referring to God when he says, “Create in me a pure heart, oh God.” In order to dump out his own words and look at them, he’s going to replace what’s in there with the good stuff of God … right back into the box of his mind and heart … seal it up with some strong God-tape… and go from there.
We stuff life in, we keep things we don’t need to and harbor resentment that tatters and frays the edges of our heart and then we stuff it all in and put it back on the shelf of the closet of life. But that stuff, those pieces, will eventually come out. Often, if we’re not totally aware of what we’ve stored in the heart’s bin, it will come out sideways resulting in sin.
It’s time to dump everything out. It’s time to go through the pieces and see what belongs and what you need to clean out. Let’s start with a spring cleaning of the heart and soul. Let’s open the doors, breathe in the fresh air, and feel renewed.
Proverbs 4:23, “Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts.”