Last weekend I had a garage sale, actually a garage/moving sale. Moving! For some people, the idea is terrifying. Having been in the same location for decades, they can’t even imagine what that would look like. I love a good move, and I’ve always considered that moving helps you keep stuff to a minimum.
We are currently downsizing with the goal of purchasing a modular factory-built home with no basement. I knew my husband was onboard with this idea when he started selling off his book collection. We’ve only been at our current home for eight years, but things have a way of creeping in – one item at a time. While we haven’t yet secured property, we have chosen the home we would like to purchase. This makes it very easy to ask the question, “What will fit?” Thus, we have been on an inspection tour through our home. Keep or get rid of? That’s the question. Kitchen items? Lots of places to reduce. Homeschooling materials? Our daughter is 31, so they can go. Sports equipment? Walking doesn’t require anything special. Keep. Pitch. Sell. Keep. Pitch. Sell. None of these things are bad in and of themselves, but they are all things that are a hindrance if there is no place for them in the new home. They would be crowding out the things that are necessary and useful.
There is a very real sense in which the same process applies to eternal life. Except in this case, I already know where I will live. God has chosen me, and Christ has gone to prepare a place for me (John 14:2). In my sanctification, God is preparing me for that home. So, what fits? What things are a hindrance to a well-ordered life? What are the things I am packing into my heart or holding onto for no good, God-glorifying reason? Anger, bitterness, fear, sin? There is definitely no room for these. Each item should be evaluated from God’s perspective. If it’s in keeping with His Word, I ought to keep it. If it’s contrary to His Word, I ought to put it out with the trash. I should treasure only those things which make me fit for the home the Lord is preparing for me. Keep. Pitch. Keep. Pitch.
We must remember no house is cleaned and organized just once. We need to continually inspect and “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles” (Heb. 12:1). In speaking about this passage, Matthew Henry exhorts, “Let us lay aside all external and internal hindrances.” So, as I continue to evaluate the stuff in my life, I’ll continue to think about the temporal and the eternal, welcoming the opportunity to keep or lay aside, as the Lord desires.