The Price: Revaluate It’s Worth, Remove The Clutter, Make It Simple, & Accept “Newness”
“No to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work in us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 2:20-21
While reading this passage, it hit me that this summarizes much that has been percolating in me lately. Since retiring from public teaching at the beginning of June, this summer has been a time for me just to settle, to rest, to change my lifestyle, my priorities, and control my calendar rather than my calendar controlling me. I have spent more “quality” time with the Lord, expounded energy on social networking, tweeting, blogging, preparing to redo my fiverevealed.com web site, and spent a great amount of time just “listening” to that small spiritual inner voice that leads, guides, directs, and teaches. Much of what I hear, I have been blogging, so the price for all this has been exposure, a theme that has been a constant in my life.
Also, being a creature who has to experience something in order to learn it, I have had to clean an over cluttered basement, forcing myself to shred away years of documents that recorded finances, tossing what I thought were meaningful heirlooms, now monuments of the past, that only clutter my life, reorganizing rooms so things have places with simplicity. Everything is beginning to find a “place”. When I need something, I will know where to find it!
I’ve realized that my mother-in-law’s life has been reduced to “staying alive and healthy” in a nursing home while I have accumulated all her “valuables”, alias clutter which has junked up my basement. It is hard to face the fact that some of my own personal possessions that I thought were “valuable” have become junk, “yard sale fodder.” Furniture accumulated by children growing up and leaving the nest as adults also clutters my basement. I think I must store them for the “grandchildren” who are not even in existence yet, but my wife has label the furniture as junk, clutter. Wrestling with bipolar, she despises “clutter”, for it overwhelms her. In reality, I too am learning to despise “clutter” as it has been my job of sifting through all our “valuable junk.” Mementos I once cherished as precious are gone when reduced to clutter. Things considered “special” have lost their value over time and lost their use through disuse.
I know God’s greatness, that he “is able to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine.” What got me as I read the above passage was the participle phrase “according to his power that is at work in us.” As much as I like to see him work, it is the “that is at work IN US” that strikes me between the eyes, pierces my heart, challenges my soul, for I want to see his power, his grace, and his mercy. He has chosen to do it through you and me. His power doesn’t happen in isolated space, but through people, His people, believers in Jesus Christ, the priesthood of believers, you and me! He no longer chooses to inhabit burning bushes but in people with a burning passion for Him. He has “immeasurable” power burning in “me”, so what does he make me do? Clean house, remove clutter, reevaluate worth of material objects, and bring simplicity to my life.
What has been precious about this process? During the daily grind and drudgery of its tediousness, He has been speaking to me, revealing things to me, and I love revelations. Unfortunately, his revelations are about my spiritual life, calling me back to finding my place of purpose in Him, so when He needs me, He will know where to find me, just as I need to find my tools when they are needed. He is calling me back to a life of simplicity when I have majored in complexity throughout my life as an adult.
He is fusing my love for “old school”, those things in my past that have meaning as historical milestones in my life, but now clutter it, that have become “junk”, and is revealing to me “new school” those same experiences of meaning in a “new” form, a “new” song, a “simple song in a simplistic form. He is fusing the old with the new by removing the clutter, reevaluating “worth”, and causing complexity to yield to simplicity, thus the power of the end of the scriptural passage, “to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations.” I have experienced revival as a young adult, and hunger so badly for it for this younger generation, my children and grandchildren’s generations, to bridge of understandings between both generations. The price: remove the clutter, reevaluation of worth, a call for simplicity, and acceptance toward “newness.”