Isaiah 1:1, 10-20
Psalm 50:1-8, 22-23
Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16
Peace be with you, brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ!
I have to admit that I thought being thirty and graduating from seminary with a Masters in New Testament would make me a great Biblical scholar. Publishers would be calling me to write books, and I would be speaking at conferences. Somehow, having a diploma was a rite of passage. Unfortunately, reality is a little different. I work hard to be a solid Biblical interpreter who focuses her work around the experience of healing, but not many people know of my work. Among the peers who know me, I am respected and called upon to discuss the healing process. Outside of my network, however, I am just another person who claims to know what she is talking about. Who knew how much time it took to meet thousands of Biblical scholars and to make a name for yourself?
Sometimes I fear life is slipping me by; somehow I should be doing more to be a well-known Biblical scholar. Isn’t thirty when you are suppose to have your life together? I sure have collected enough papers, keepsakes, household items, books, and other items to show the world I have it together. Jesus tells us not to worry about worldly matters, because God the Father will give us the kingdom (Luke 12:32). Many of us allow our fears get the best of us. We fear being in danger, we fear the unknown, failure, being left out, and [whatever “it” is] that holds us back. Fears cloud our vision and keep us from God’s blessings. God will protect us as we go out into the world to share the good news.
People in the world treasure material items, like clothes, big homes, the latest technology, and [whatever “it” is] they just have to have. Last week, I admitted I have a shopping compulsion, especially with clothes. I like nice things. However, Jesus calls us to sell our possessions and to give alms (Luke 10:33). To follow Jesus, we do not need a plethora of nice things to fill up our spacious homes. A month ago I finally went through the mountain of papers in the office. I found the closest it was hiding along with the memories it swallowed. The mountain of papers grew over several moves and years. I found forgotten pictures of friends and family, books from my childhood, and other keepsakes mixed in with old bills, old manual books, and other paperwork. Once I sorted out the junk from the hidden treasures, I was free from the burden endless paper and prepared to move forward. I was able to release the painful memories in the mountain and take the good memories with me as I make new ones.
By giving up our unneeded possessions, we are better prepared to do God’s work in the world. The clutter keeps us from seeing how God is working in our lives causing us to miss the blessings he gives us. Once we remove the unneeded clutter, we are able to move past the things holding us back from the past to move forward into the future. The mountain of papers reminded me of my ex-husband. It took me a year to find the courage to sort through the papers and throw out what I no longer needed.
While it took me a whole afternoon, I am now free of the fear of finding stuff I no longer want. I am free to make new memories and new friends. I no longer have to explain the mountain of papers. I can be more alert to the present without having to look back.
Jesus begs us to be alert to the present to be aware of how God is using us to do his work in the world and how he is blessing us (Luke 12:37). As a community, we never know when God is going to call upon us to bless someone else. When we hold onto grudges within the community, we lose sight of God’s plan and how he is using us in the world. Once we move past the past, we as a community can move forward into the future. We can look forward to Jesus’ second coming when we will enter the Kingdom of God and worship him.
When we are alert, God is able to use us freely to carry out his plan. We hear God knocking and welcome him into our hearts. We see how God is blessing us and pay it forward. Once we de-clutter our lives, we are able to see the many blessings in our lives
Thanks be to God!
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for the many blessings in our lives. Help us to de-clutter our lives in order to see how you are using us to do your work. Remind us to let go of the past in order to be alert to the future. Use us to carry out your plan for the world as we stay alert for Jesus’ second coming. Thank you for helping us move into the future. Amen.
Thanks to the Triune God – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
Please answer the following reflective questions in the comments below. Please agree to disagree and be respectful to each other. (If you have not already done so, please also take a moment, to sign the comment covenant.) You can answer as many questions as you would like.
1. What are your fears? How do they hold you back?
2. What clutter do you keep in your life? How do you plan on getting rid of your clutter?
3. How does God bless you?