Clean House.Posted: November 30, 2011
Back when we still had cable, Jeff and I would sometimes watch this show called Clean House. It was pretty awesome, and it was also pretty disturbing. Basically, there were people on this show who had so much stuff in their homes that they couldn’t function anymore. Some homes were so piled with junk (sewing machines, clothes, furniture, kitchenware, etc) that there were only thin paths through the house that its inhabitants could use to get from one room to another. It was pandemonium. It was chaos. Unlivable.
And whenever Jeff and I would watch this show, we’d say things like: “How can these people live like that?! Where do they sleep at night? And most importantly, where the heck do they sit to watch television?”
And then, the expert organizers/designers on the show would have to pull arms, legs, teeth, the whole nine yards, just to get these people to agree to get rid of this stuff and sell it at a yard sale. Sometimes, it would take bribing (“If you agree to sell this collection of half-broken model airplanes, we’ll put in a new carpet in your living room!”)
Sometimes the person would say: “No. I just cannot get rid of those broken model airplanes. Or the oversized stuffed dog. Or the half-broken curio cabinet filled with great aunt so-and-so’s thimble collection.”
And by making this decision, this person would miss out on a new living room set, a new stove, new carpeting, and the obtrusive item he or she did not wish to give up stood out like a sore thumb, a reminder of the past clutter.
I would then wag a finger at the TV and say things like: “You should’ve gotten rid of your broken 30 year old scuba gear!”
Now, it’s hard to say there is something morally wrong with these people. I wouldn’t say that their messy houses are a source of sin, necessarily. But I do think this is an obstacle. And I think that it ultimately diminishes these people’s lives.
This show makes it clear how hard it is to let things go, especially when they become a part of your daily life. I thought of this during Brad’s sermon on Sunday. I often settle for a cluttered and messy life. It’s not awful, but it’s not great; it is a diminished version of what it would be, mainly because I have grown accustomed to it, and I don’t want let these things go.
The reason why God wants us to follow him and do his will and sin no more is because he wants the best life for us. So when God sees us wasting our time, or sees us consumed and burdened by things that diminish rather than add to our lives, I’m sure he wants something more and better for us. He wants good things for his children, and we often settle for mediocrity. He created us for his great purposes, and we instead settle for youtube clips, TV marathons, and hours on facebook.
It’s time I cleaned house a little. Settling isn’t worth it.