*Posted by Kirk Spencer
Even after spring cleaning is finished and the house has been put back in order (for a while), my life is still cluttered with a multitude of necessities—with marriage and ministry and kids and career (et al.). It seems that entropy continues beyond the material and into the matrimonial, ecclesiastical, parental and professional. In all of these, it is still a struggle to bring order out of chaos, form out of formlessness. In the “storm” of necessities, I sometimes push myself to finish each task, with these words—“I can do this.” And in God grace somehow they seem to get done in spite of the clutter. If I could only escape the clutter—not the necessities—but escape the unnecessary cluttered mind in the midst of taking care of the necessities that I love.
Last Sunday morning, in my hurry, I had forgotten my Bible at home, and I was worried about the can of blue paint I left outside the garage, and I had to get the props for the children’s choir program, and my first graders were waiting for their Bible Lesson… I remember the familiar hurry of my cluttered life, rushing through the house to gather everything that needed gathering. Then back through the garage, past the van and into the Sunday morning sun. As I picked up the wayward can of paint, the world was bright, the sky was blue, the clouds were white and there was sunshine all around, but (and here’s the strange part) all was quiet, completely quiet. I stopped still and looked around. For just a moment I thought I had gone deaf. But there was no movement either. It was as if Someone had pushed the “pause button.” I waited another moment for something to break the stillness, but nothing did. And a thought entered my mind, a question—a prayer: “What are You trying to tell me?” And immediately these words, “I can do this;” the same words I had told myself so many times, but now, as an answer to my question, these words had another meaning—just as encouraging, if not more. For when I was busy and noisy and hurried, “I can do this” encouraged me to keep at it and not give up. But now in this surreal stillness, these words reminded me of other words; the words Jesus spoke to the storm: “Peace! Be still!” Or His words to the formless chaos, “Let there be…” It is something I knew. “He can do this.” He can make the world and He can make it be still. I just needed to be reminded of it, in my hurry. He can control the chaos. He can calm storms. And, if we pause long enough to know that He is the God Who “can do this,” He can bring stillness and quiet to our storm. He can clean-up our cluttered minds, if we let Him—even now.
Then I heard my breathing, then a dog barking down the alley; and gradually the distant roar of a jet, high above. And I went back to Church uncluttered.