Archive for March 12th, 2008

Who wants a Clean House?

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

Editor’s note: In the core Discipleship Classes at Jesus MCC, we study what we call Building Blocks.” These Blocks are spiritual tools and practices we can put into place to intentionally develop our relationship with God. From time to time, Be Still and Know will spend a week looking at one of the Blocks. This week, we’re looking at Block “D”, the Discipleship Decision. All of the Blocks are outlined here.

Today’s scripture: Mark 10:17-24 (ESV-text and audio) (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Theresa Benson):

I just love the TV show Clean House. People write to the show, desperate because they are buried under clutter — and I’m not talking a little paper here and there, or a messy room that can be cleaned in a weekend.

These are mounds of emotional drama in the form of stuff, including “family heirlooms” like a rusty coat of arms, jukeboxes that haven’t worked since 1986, a photocopier sitting in the middle of the dining room covered with dust and dishes, or mounds of clothes (two sizes too small) draped all over the living room in must-save piles for that “just-in-case” moment when they might actually fit again.

The premise is simple — the Clean House team comes in and works with the homeowners to sell their clutter in a yard sale, and they take the proceeds from the sale and make over the rooms, organizing the homeowners and coaching them on ways to keep their homes more orderly and calm.

What is most amazing to me is how desperately the homeowners want to hang on to the most useless (and often ugly) things!

Their clutter is causing them pain, frustration, and stress. In some cases, they can’t invite friends and family over because they literally can’t get the front door open. They can’t find the peace and comfort they should in their home, but they panic at the thought of handing over some of their “stuff” to the yard sale.

I’ve seen grown men get upset over letting go of Arsenio Hall Show mugs; one guy called his “Keg-er-ator” his ‘baby’ (much to the chagrin of his pregnant fiancée); and one woman, who desperately needed a room for her two year old (who had been sleeping in the master bedroom since birth because the nursery had become a storage space) almost refused to give up any of her down jackets — and she lives in Los Angeles!

If it’s this difficult to let go of the junk of the past and embrace a happier, more serene future — when you’ve literally called someone for help and the cameras are rolling — imagine what it must have been like to be at work one day, and have Someone come up and say, “Hey, drop what you’re doing and follow Me.”

But these first disciples did, didn’t they? Here’s what I see when I read this:

They were just Average Joe fishermen when they made the decision to change their lives by following Jesus.

Implication: I’m the queen of waiting until the first of the year, the first of the month, or at least on a Monday to start a new diet, to start walking more, to stop biting my nails — you name it. But God doesn’t care when it is when we decide to invest ourselves in spiritual matters — God’s ready whenever you are.

They weren’t in the middle of a crisis when this all happened.

Implication: Maybe we don’t need to wait until things are terrible to make a decision to move in a more positive direction.

Jesus didn’t ask them to completely change who they were in order to follow Him — they were fishermen, and so he asked them to take skills they already understood and leverage them as part of His ministry.

Implication: There is a reason for each of us to be here, and our journey, no matter how unique or how seemingly mundane, can be used for God’s purposes.

Jesus didn’t expect Simon and Andrew to just automatically know how to be fishers of people — he offers to teach them how.

Implication: When you take a step in a positive direction in your life, trust that you’ll be given the tools you need to succeed.

Simon, Andrew, James and John all left something behind to follow Jesus.

Implication: There still might be something we’re hanging on to that’s preventing us from taking that next step in our walk with God. It might be something as small as hanging on to those nine extra SNOOZE minutes each morning, or it could be an addiction we’re functioning with — but we’ve stopped thriving. What are you hanging on to that’s keeping you where you are instead of freeing you up to get where you want to go?

Thought for the day: If Jesus were to show up at your office today and say, “Come, follow Me,” would you? Are you ready to let go and see what’s next?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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