May 14: Junk Collects in the Empty Spaces

As I was hurrying out the front door to shuttle the kids to school this morning, the pile of stuff at the bottom of the stairs caught my eye.

How in the world did all that stuff get piled up again so quickly?

It was clean just three days ago!!

Now the space is cluttered with early readers, shoes, clothes, toys, contents from a book bag, and some trash that was no doubt thrown down the stairs but never actually made it to the garbage can. Areas in our house can barely stay clean for one day with small children around, let alone three, but I was still surprised at how quickly it turned to chaos.

That's just one of the many examples in my house of empty spaces that collect junk. The kitchen counter, the top of the microwave, my dresser, under the couches, basement corners, and the list goes on. I'm sure you can look around your house and find the same--spare rooms that were going to house guests and instead store boxes, treadmills that were going to help you shed some pounds and instead shelve books.

What is it about empty space that makes us want (or feel like?) we can fill it with….junk?

I pile the I'll get to that later on top of the I don't have time for that now and set it all next to the Some day I'll get around to organizing all this. And sometimes, all of those get thrown frantically into the laundry basket of Oh crap, we're having company over and I can't have them thinking my house is a mess and shoved into a closet somewhere, never to be seen again.

So I thought, maybe if we do this in our homes, we do this in our minds, as well. Because if you don't choose to fill the empty space with thoughts that are true, kind, and loving, it can easily get filled up with junk.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anythingis excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  {Phil. 4:8}

And the stealthy junk sneaks in quietly, tip-toeing around the cobwebs, and before you know it, you're a total mess. What you read, what you watch on TV, the conversations you have, and the people you hang around can all let junk seep into your mind. And once it's in there, it's hard to get it cleaned up again.

We can also pile up unresolved issues in our mind because we don't feel like we can face them right now, so we just ignore them altogether and hope that they'll go away. Or we put it off until life is better/easier/different. Or until the other person apologizes first. Or until we feel like forgiving. But the issues don't go away--they just stack up over time, making you a pretty miserable person from the inside out.

Maybe the piles in our house are a reflection of the piles in our mind? Hmmm… Perhaps I should pull out all those laundry baskets and see what's going on up there? Lol.

The moral of the story is, be intentional about what inhabits the space of your mind. Think about what is true, noble and lovely. Start dealing with the piles that've accumulated up there before they affect your life, because left unattended, they will. Junk attracts vermin and promotes decay. Invite Jesus into the mess--He's the best one-man clean up crew around!! Don't get me wrong, He loves you at your messiest, but He loves you enough not to let you stay there.