It was a big clearing out day yesterday at the Porter residence in Doncaster. The family home where my Mum lives – and where I grew up – is being sold and so yesterday was spent clearing ‘outside space’ – shed, garage, greenhouse and air-raid shelter. Yes, there’s still an air-raid shelter, which was great fun playing in for me and my brothers.
We found all sorts of stuff – most of which should have been thrown out years ago and so ended up on a big skip. Broken garden furniture. My childhood chopper bike. Quite a lot of my grandpa’s pots that he used to make at his pottery class in retirement. And then a few interesting things – like an old 60’s camera that has little value but Luke is seeing how it works. And then at the bottom of one box in the shed was a decrepit box with some old records in it, including the baptism record of my great grandmother – dated 1859. (Why was it in the shed…?) Fascinating.
Clearing out is of course necessary when you move house – like my Mum is doing. But it’s also good to do on a regular basis in any event. It’s good to have a real sort out. To pass on. To give away. To throw away. Because in our homes we accumulate all sorts of stuff, much of which we don’t need to keep. It just gets in the way and clutters.
That’s true of internal things too. Because there is stuff inside of each of us that clutters. There are things that need clearing out.
Maybe it’s worries. Maybe it’s bitterness. That comes from unforgiveness. Maybe it’s a negative attitude to someone. Maybe it’s a bad habit. Maybe it’s having too much stuff on your mind, stopping you focus. Whatever it is, perhaps today is a day for clearing out.
Clearing out anything requires time. In the same way that we set aside time to help clear out the sheds yesterday so internal clearing out can’t be done in two minutes. It will require some considering. Some prioritising. Some discarding. And some prayer. Prayer is key. Because as you pray, so you invite the presence of the Spirit to help you and guide you and lead you (Galatians 5:16-18). And he is the best person to clear out as that’s one of his jobs (1 Peter 1:2).
Clearing out is really healthy. And you never know what you’re going to find. Often it’s stuff that needs to go. But sometimes, like my discovery of the 1859 Baptism Certificate, you find things you didn’t know were there, which definitely need keeping.
What about you? Is it time for a clear out?