Does clutter make you fat? No. But it will keep you fat. Ever since Robin wrote that blog entry, the title has been rolling around in my head. What is clutter? Around the home it’s either necessary items not in their proper place (school books scattered in the hall) or it can simply be too much of things we really don’t need (I’m not a big fan of the ‘knick-knack’). In our lives, it’s pretty much the same.
I’ve been trying to clean up the clutter in my life, all the things that are not in their proper place and all the things I really don’t need. Things like Emily, the kids, my job, even my health are all necessary responsibilities with which God has blessed me. But they all need to be kept in their proper place, namely second to God. Still other things (tv) need to trimmed back (or removed all together) especially if I am working on the responsibilities I mentioned as necessary.
One big thing lately is my health. For a while I’ve tried to use Emily and the kids as a motivation to lose weight and be healthier, but it took the competition at work to kick start me. Exercise and diet will not guarantee a life without trouble, but the odds are it will be longer and a better quality. For so long I could not see beyond the momentary satisfaction of sautéed shrimp over rice, or pancakes, or snicker-doodles. Exercise, whether jumping rope or walking at the Y, and learning to just say no to brownies, has really been lousy during the moment, but, boy, after losing almost twenty pounds, I feel so much better. One of the guys in the competition has been able to quit his insulin because his sugar’s been okay. It’s that kind of thing that keeps me plugging along.
I’m not saying I’ll never have another brownie, maybe after I get my weight under control. God wants us to enjoy his creation. But like an alcoholic, I’ve used food as an escape from the moment. I convinced myself that I’d done something to deserve that Reese’s cup. Also like an alcoholic, going cold turkey is the best way for me; cold turkey slices over a bed of baby spinach leaves.
But I need to clean up the other clutter, too. Especially any clutter I’ve stacked in front of God, clutter I use to escape. Even my pursuit to lose weight can become an idol. Too many of the things that provide an instant, temporary joy become idols to me, such as sleeping in, tv, web surfing, movies, etc. They’re not necessarily evil on their own, but once I give them a better seat at the table than God, they’re clutter.
God must be first. He has decided to bless me in so many ways. I know He is sovereign, but I am called to be a good steward, even with His blessings.
Lord, help me identify and smash the idols cluttering my view of You. And Lord, please help me rest in Your grace while serving obediently. Be my escape. Amen.