Sunday, September 12, 2010

Life as a Room

I love Albuquerque. I love being home. I love afternoon thunderstorms. I love green chile. I love Esther. I love Lacey. I love Carly. I love mom.
Currently, I do not have a job (though I did have my first of many interviews with Apple today - something to keep me in the black while I'm in the Burque). So instead of working or going to school, I am helping my mom with house projects. This past weekend, we cleaned out and painted my dad's old office. I think the peachy paint color combined with the dark wood trim gives the room a feeling of a beach house. Hopefully once the transformation into House Library is complete, my mom will stop threatening to put seashells on the walls.
Another project of the house is the canning of summer fruit. I made a giant pot of peach butter this week, and my mom canned it this past weekend. We still have a ton of apples.
With these two projects, our house is currently quite chaotic. The kitchen is full of canning materials and apples, so it is very cluttered, and the living room is full of everything that was in the office. I nearly had a claustrophobia attack in the kitchen, and my mom almost went crazy while she was looking in the living room. Needless to say, if you live in the area and want to help me clean this week, please call. Also call if you'd like to buy five old CPUs. The computer relics we found in the office are astounding in sheer volume.
Okay, all of this to say, I don't like clutter. I'm not the cleanest, tidiest person in the world; don't get me wrong. I like a little bit of a mess because it feels more relaxed. But in the general scheme of things, I want the clutter OUT. I think the same thing can be said for our lives. We live in such a busy world, our days get filled with this and that, and suddenly we feel claustrophobic in our day-to-day happenings. This past week I had four evenings that I spent away from home. On Thursday I thought, "When am I going to go for a walk with my mom if I keep this up?" It becomes essential to remove certain things so that we can fit other things in - or even just take a night to relax!
And now, a lesson learned from cleaning out a room: it is hard work. Not only do you have to physically move things, but then you have to decide what is to be kept and what is to be donated, what is to be sold, what is to be put in storage for later use.... It's all a lot of work, and you have to consider each thing. It's a daunting task. A lifetime of collecting is easy if you just keep adding things to the same room. My goal in life is not to just keep adding, but be purposefully removing things as I go as well.
This leads me to my spiritual point for the day. When we first enter into a relationship with Christ, we have a full life, filled to the brim with things of our past. We have our memories, our friendships, our relatives, our jobs, our hobbies, our habits. And then Christ comes in, and he doesn't want to just be part of a list that makes us who we are - he wants everything we are to be about Him. To do this, we might have to purposefully remove things that are in our lives - things that don't revolve around Christ. A room can only be so full. If the office we cleaned out is any measure, a room can hold a whole lot of stuff, but eventually it will be full. So if we want to make room for something else, we have to take something else out. If we want to grow closer to Christ, we have to take things out of our lives. Perhaps there are some things that will be harder to change than others. For instance, you can't switch relatives, and if they don't honor Christ, it would seem that they should be removed from the room, right? Well, no. Maybe you should try to tell them about Christ instead of just purposefully removing them from your life. But maybe you will have to remove some hobbies or freetime activities. No more flagburnings or watching crass movies. And it is hard work. It is daunting work.
But I am convinced that the end result is worth it, just as I am convinced that cleaning out and transforming the office into a library will be worth it. It's still hard work, and it won't be over in a day. At this rate, it won't be over in a week, but I'm going to keep working on it, just as I keep working on my life as a room.