"Why are you reading a book about how to do something you're good at?" my home-from-college-for-the-summer daughter asked me.
I shrugged. "I guess I enjoy reading practical books like this one - and it gives me ideas. Besides," I insisted, glancing at her sideways, "when I'm reading up on a topic, I tend to follow-through more readily. It helps me keep my focus."
At least for a while.
This past week, I finally rummaged through the closet under the stairs and tossed out a carpet scrap from a carpet which had been ripped up and disposed of eight years ago! If you follow my blog, you know how much I've sorted, thrown out, given away, and donated in the last few years. And I'm still at it. My latest venture? Give away our old sofa in the guest room, put my office futon in its place, re-upholster a cozy chair, and move it into my office (and tidy my desk while I'm at it). One less piece of furniture and more space. I'm getting there . . . I hope!
Life's a little like my quest for tidying. It gets messy and we feel bogged down until we take the time to clean it up. It might be a clogged-up schedule. Or a relationship that's gotten stale and cold. Or the path-of-least-resistance choice to pursue the urgent over the important. Or old familiar rhythms that have little benefit to us now. We feel the need to tidy up yet often feel stuck. Where do we begin? And how to we keep on top of it all?
Just as I checked out a tidying manual for my home from the library, so we have a life manual available to help us know where to start, what to prioritize, and how to ask for help to tidy up our lives. God's Word helps us keep our focus. We begin at the foot of the cross as Christ exchanges our sin for His righteousness. Then He gives us the tools of forgiveness, prayer, relational grace, and the freshness of His presence.
The key is to consistently read the manual. Much like my house-tidying book, it keeps us focused on the goal: "We make it our aim to please Him" (2 Corinthians 5:9).
Photos from bing.com/images