It's time to think about getting my homeschool classroom in order. It's a surly mess. Last spring we were lured by the sun on our shoulders, the blue skies, the early greens that brushed like tempera paint over the winter-long browns.
We jumped ship.
Now we're wading through the whispers of last year. Math papers stacked in the cabinet. Flashcards in unbundled piles. Journals holding heart words and binders bulging with science.
And then there's the closet.
My deep, dark mess.
I open the door and step back fast. Hard telling what will come lunging out. A stray bottle of glue. A spelling book. Or worse yet. A wayward compass with a sharp, pointy end.
This cavern of a closet is full.
I have no choice but to dig in. I want this closet in order. This closet needs to be in order. It's my resource place. When I need a book, a text, an answer key...a stick of glue, a ruler, a pair of scissors with ripply edges, I'll need a crisp, clean closet to produce the goods.
I'll want the good stuff to flow - unencumbered by this bulging, dreary mess.
So I pull a wild stack of books from the floor and begin to sort.
A tug a basket of dumped-together art supplies and begin to sift.
Halfway through the adventure, I understand that this closet is like my heart. There are good things. Fruit of the Spirit things. Treasure chest things that hold value like gold. But there's a knot of not-so-good, too. Darker things. Messy things. Things that may clutter the goodness.
And while I'm sitting pretzel-legged in the closet, contents building around me in small mountain heaps, the cleaning becomes a prayer.
Lord, there's a green mass of jealousy in the corner of my heart. Please pull it out.
Father, there's selfish ambition lurking in the deep. Remove it with Your tender hand.
Fear, God. It moves like a shadow. Covering and consuming and making light places gray. Pluck it?
It feels good to ask the Lord to sift through the contents of my heart. To ask him to help me remove the mess. I can't just stack the junk and haul it to the trash.
But the closet door, my heart door, is open, and His light can shine in. It may take time. But the invitation is there. And He is faithful.
I poke through the markers. Some are good. Some have crushed, dry tips.
It's a good thing.
And as the piles around me grow, as I pray, I feel lighter and more free on the inside.
Like my in-good-order closet, my heart will produce good things.
I'm grateful for the cleaning.
I'm grateful for the grace.
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. Psalm 51:1-2
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10