Tuesday, January 17, 2006

A Little Spiritual Housecleaning

This was the meditation I gave at the diocesan ECW Board meeting on Saturday, inspired by being on the Flylady mailing list, and by some recent personal experiences.  

Do you have science experiments in your refrigerator?  UFOs (unidentified frozen objects) in your freezer?  Stalled craft projects in your closet?  And when you think about them, are you kind of paralyzed? Feel guilty about the meal you never cooked, the sweater you never finished, the holiday leftovers that are now just—left?

The dark corners of our coolers and our closets are just metaphors for the dust bunnies we have in our spiritual life.  Unresolved issues, hurts, deeds we have done and left undone—they pile up in the recesses of our souls and bodies, leaving us paralyzed, unable to move forward into the new life Jesus promises us in the here and now and in the life to come.

The good news is that Jesus has already forgiven us for the interesting shades of green in our refrigerator and in our hearts.  We are already forgiven for the things we have done and left undone.  But we clutch onto them because they’re familiar and safe—we think, and we collect clutter in our closets, both metaphorical and literal.

Does keeping the science experiment in the refrigerator make you feel any less guilty?  Does it magically turn into something that it’s not—a delicious, life-giving meal to share with your loved ones?

Does hanging onto the failed science experiments in our spiritual lives draw us closer to Christ and to each other?  Or does it just put more in the way?

It’s okay to throw out the things that haven’t worked.  It’s okay to clean out our closets, and look at our failures with the healing power of the Gospel, and just let them be.

It’s a new year, and we can make some room for God to work in our lives, in our congregations, and in our work together as Episcopal Church Women. We can throw out the mold and the freezer burn, and see what new things come from making just a little room for the Spirit to move and work in us.


At 1:27 PM, Blogger Annie said...

Inspiring! :) You made me muse!

At 3:37 PM, Blogger Quotidian Grace said...

Love the reference to freezer burn :-)

We actually cleaned out a freezer and refrigerator at church the first week of January so we can begin a new discipleship program. Needed to make room for something new, just as you said.

At 4:16 PM, Blogger Kay said...

Were you watching me clean out my refrigerator this weekend????

At 9:02 PM, Blogger Annie said...

Nah! She saw me scouting out my fridge late last week when I couldn't find any cheese!

At 10:47 PM, Blogger Susan said...

Very interesting. Food for thought (no pun intended).

At 7:39 AM, Anonymous franziska said...

You made me smile... tank you!
I am also a FlyLady subscriber, knitting addict, FLAKer, and a few years ago I worked as a lay minister in United Church of Candada (in a german speaking pastoral charge)

At 8:15 AM, Blogger Emily said...

QG--Aren't church refrigerators the scariest? All those aging condiments lol.

Thanks all, for the feedback.

Welcome, Franziska! I'm so glad you stopped by.

At 10:09 AM, Blogger Songbird said...

That's good stuff, Emily.

At 5:38 PM, Blogger bythesea said...

This meditation on spiritual housecleaning is wonderful! Thank you for sharing. Just the kind of thing I needed to hear as I work on cleaning up my house and also my personal/spiritual refrigerators and closets.

P.S. I was the one who posted before about GOEs (there's some "during" photos on my blog). I seem to have survived and recovered - results mid-February.

Peace and New Year's/Epiphany blessings,

At 11:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is my prayer that all Christians will know the importance of a spiritually clean house. Jesus Christ set us free from the curse but it is our responsibility to remove the cursed objects from our home. Why do we want to live with the very curses that God set us free from.

Deuteronomy 7:26: Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing.

Deliverance is not complete until the abominations are out of the house.

Please visit my site at ministryoftruth.site.with.us/home


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