"A place for everything, everything in its place." - Benjamin Franklin
Who doesn't long for that?
And so I purchase baskets, and boxes, and labels, and sorters. And they help. But sometimes a chaotic home is a reflection of a chaotic mind, and sometimes a chaotic mind is a reflection of a chaotic home. Do you know the vicious cycle I speak of? Buying more tools for organization doesn't simply make the mess go away-- not on the dresser, not in the closet, and not in our overwhelmed minds and hearts.
Working your way through the mess means that you still have to do the hard work of discerning. What to keep, what to throw away. What is valuable, what is worthless. What you can do something with, and what is simply out of your hands.
And you realize that cleaning house is not unlike decluttering the thoughts and concerns of your mind and heart.Worries and fears do not easily get swept under the rugs. Grief and heartache do not simply get wiped away. Stress and burdens don't just get shaken out. Each thought, each concern, each overwhelming feeling must be taken captive in obedience to Christ:
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5
So...see that mess on your kitchen counter and that sink full of dishes? There's no way around it but to clean it up one piece at a time. That basket overflowing with laundry? One load at a time. Your child's closet that seems impenetrable? One square inch at a time, discerning as you go.
And so it is with our Monday morning thoughts, our Monday morning worries, our messy and cluttered Monday morning minds. Decluttering is not just an issue of management; it is a matter of discernment, of waging war against worry and fear, and taking thoughts captive as obedient to Christ.
It's worth mentioning that being systematic in our housekeeping makes a difference, just as it does with being systematic in the feeding of our souls. When reading God's Word and closet prayer become more than simply tools and organizational sorters-- but nourish us and fill us up from within-- housekeeping becomes tantamount to uncovering the true, rather than redistributing the chaos.
A place for everything and everything in its place? The Lord of our lives enthroned at the center, trusted as the anchor, embraced as the answer, and lifted up as the standard.
Let's begin there, this day.