In one of his books, C. S. Lewis tells a parable of renovating the house of our lives. When we come to Christ, we expect Him to make some changes in our lives; the plumbing needs repair, the kitchen could do with a make-over, and that leaky roof needs to be fixed.
But we suddenly find He is tearing down walls, adding turrets and windows and a general renovation far beyond what we expected. Apparently, He is not willing to live in the dingy cottage we built for ourselves, and is building a mansion fit for His kingly abode.
Every house in our neighbourhood has a double garage. But for many, the vehicles never see the inside because of the “stuff” residing within. I’ll bet some of those owners also have paid storage elsewhere to house more “stuff” they never use!
But as we grow older, we decided to go in the opposite direction and have downsized to a living space of about 550 square feet in the lower level of our current house. We knew we would have to dispose of much “stuff” accumulated over the years after living in spaces three or four times the size.
So a string of garage sales and “Kijiji” offerings took care of most of what we felt we didn’t need. Now, after the move on Saturday, we still have more “stuff” than we can accommodate Most will go to another home that can use it, some will even grace the inside of our trash bin.
I couldn’t help thinking of a reverse parallel with Lewis’s story. We carry so much baggage around the world with us, much of which we never use, and more than we really need, which takes up valuable time, cost, and maintenance, reducing the effectiveness of our lives.
In the same way, we tend to carry much emotional baggage with us, resentment, anger, jealousy—you can add your own list—that serves no useful purpose and mars our ability to live in the gracious and graceful way God intended.
Decluttering our lives is more important than decluttering our homes. Life is so much simpler—not necessarily easier—but certainly happier, when we model our lives after God’s character: compassionate, gracious, patient, loving, faithful, forgiving and just (Exodus 34:6–7).