Uncluttered: Are Your Insides Tidy or a Junkyard?

Proverbs 4:23

Guard your heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.

I’m not a neat freak, but as much as I can manage, I like tidiness. I like to be tidy. I don’t usually measure by inches and metres the placement of objects and ornaments in my room, but I like a semblance of order.

I remember when it all began for me. You see, I was an untidy child. It was so bad that I could hardly tell my neat clothes from my soiled ones because I never separated them and I never folded. How yucky is that? Anyway, my sister, Unekwu, returns from university for a certain holiday, and I am her target. I hated her. She made me wash and fold…all the time. I hated it. I dreaded it. She’d say to me, Ele, your wardrobe is making the room stink. It’s making you stink. And dirt bugs will love you. Have I mentioned how much I hated her? I was an 11 year old being forced to grow up. Ugh. I didn’t want to.

But guess what? By the time I turn 16, I’m mentally thanking her for the training. She helped me learn to do away with clutter. And it was a good thing. I began to dislike clutter too. When I’d walk into an untidy environment, my first instinct would be to start to pickup and clean up.

More than that, I began to like the fact that when I returned home after a long day, I would return to a tidy room and a neat kitchen, and I wouldn’t have to go through a rigorous process to figure out anything.
I liked the fact that walking about in my room at night wasn’t hazardous; I knew where everything was situated and I could navigate seamlessly in the dark.

I liked the fact that the house was a lot freer and more airy in a tidy state than in an untidy one. It generally promoted the lightness in the atmosphere.

I’m finding that our heart is a lot like our bedrooms, our closets and our kitchens. It’s where we live from, after all. When we don’t learn to tidy up, we leave room for unwelcome guests. We open the door wide for rats, roaches and arachnids to come in and dwell in relative comfort. I’ve never seen a roach or a rat in a tidy kitchen. I mean, a kitchen that’s known for tidiness. Things are in their rightful place, dishes are well done and stacked. Cupboards and drawers are always clean. Even the kitchen hater will want to cook.

When a heart is cluttered and untidy, it’s actually quite difficult to be unconfused. One can’t seem to find things when they need them, and you seem to always be missing something. Underneath the layers of junk and dirt, it’s always a chore to try to pick out sound counsel. And it’s even harder because you can’t tell whether what you’re thinking and deciding is neat or not: you never wash and you never fold. Age old crap still resides in there, so when new stuff comes along, you dump it all in, and in no time, you can’t differentiate. All the ideologies and mindsets that you are guarding are keeping you from actually putting the Word of God first, so it’s lying around on the floor…somewhere. And the cluttering continues.

Without clutter, there is clarity. Vision. Insight. Contentment. Strategy. Execution. Without clutter, there is peace.

Shouldn’t you do some uncluttering today? This week? This year? Stay tidy in your heart and guard the precious gift of God’s word and the Holy Spirit. That peace is enough to keep you happy.

All photos (including featured image): Pinterest


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