Written by Jim Kirkland
Deep in winter, often on the most frigid of Saturday afternoons, an unofficial tradition is honored at the Kirkland house. Actually, it’s honored by me; my wife and girls take no interest. Bundled up, I jump into the process of cleaning out the shed in our backyard.
While there’s some discarding that occurs, the ritual consists mainly of rearranging the assortment of hubris that shelters therein. (“Hubris” is Latin for “junk”, I think.) Among the treasures with which I reacquainted myself during this year’s session is shown in the picture above. A discerning person like you can tell right-off it’s a fine, highly prized example of …..a board. Most significant, upon this kiln-dried specimen are two inventory stickers, the kind used by moving van lines. Those stickers date this magnificent board to the pre-1995 era.
I astonished even myself (a tall order) with the ridiculousness of storing a board I’ve transported over three state lines and held onto for roughly the same amount of time it takes to birth a child, raise him, and watch him graduate from high school.
That’s just silly.
The amount of stuff in the average American household is really absurd. It’s the reason the mini-storage business is a multi-billion dollar industry. (Why, yes. I rent one of those, too.) Holding on to things we don’t need or can’t use is a hindrance, spatially and financially. Sometimes even emotionally. More destructive, though, is how we hold onto sins that should have been discarded long ago. Sins such as grudges, animosity, and bitterness. Sins such as guilt, regret, and fear. Sins like inappropriate behaviors and indulgences. Why do we cram these into our spiritual closet and insist on caring for them? They crowd out room for the Holy Spirit’s fruit to take root, making us too bloated and cumbersome to respond nimbly to our Lord’s leading. With the joyfully fresh start that Christ brings to our life, we should be eager to kick these old things down to the proverbial curb. Consider Hebrews 12:1-2.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
Jesus paid the price to cleanse us of our excess stuff. It’s up to us to call upon our Savior to help rid ourselves of the hindrances that hold us back from running well the path He has set for us.
I can’t speak for you, but my spiritual house needs a spring cleaning, with regular cleaning and discarding thereafter. Same for my actual home. And, I have an old board that’ll serve as a perfect starting point.