By Virginia Dawkins
The Meridian Star
Everything I own must be maintained. My house, my car, my yard, and even my mind need a good cleaning ever so often. I really should dust, scrub, trim, edit, delete, and refresh on a regular basis.
But here I am in the dwindling days of May, and I’ve not done my spring cleaning. How I would love a sparkling clean, orderly house with a place for everything and everything in its special place. Through the years, I’ve collected books and a stack of articles on home organization with titles like Banishing Chaos—Too Much Stuff – Chaotic Houses – Living Light … What I’ve learned is that it’s a lot easier to read about the problem than to follow the advice.
However, one of my favorite housekeeping quotes was written by a famous decorator, William Morris, who said, “If you want a golden rule that will fit everybody, this is it: Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or beautiful.”
So one of these days I’ll start with that tip. I’ll drag three large boxes into each room, one for items to give away, one for things to throw away, and one for things to pack away. I’ll get rid of all that useless clutter, and then I’ll organize my closets the way they do on those TV shows. I’ll clean, dust, and shine every inch of every room, and then I’m sure I’ll feel so much better.
Nevertheless, even after I do that, I still won’t be finished with organizing my life, because there are also rooms in my mind that need to be de-junked and cleaned. How I would love a peaceful, alert, creative mind, but like the house-cleaning, that also takes diligent work.
I need a daily check of my mental health. There are old memories with injuries and scars that need to be dealt with, and there are also attitudes that need to be examined. Could I be harboring a little envy and jealousy? And is that an old grudge peeping around the corner at me? When I spot those culprits, I can’t really pack them away in boxes — I’ll have to get rid of the mental clutter some other way.
Author Cheryl Richardson suggests that too much clutter in your house or your mind drains away your energy. She says, “Think of your mind as a large room with limited space. Remember that everything has an impact. Choose wisely the contents in that room.”
Motivational speaker Zig Ziggler said: “Literally everything that goes into your mind has an effect. It either builds or prepares you for the future or it tears down and reduces your accomplishments.”
Just as I can only clean one closet at a time, I’ll focus on one thought at a time and ask myself if it’s worth holding on to. If it isn’t, I’ll need God’s help in giving it up. But when I’ve let go of all the junky stuff, I know I’ll feel a lot better. And then I can fill those vacant spaces with a fresh, daily intake of God’s Word.