Spring Cleaning

by Carolyn Lawrence.

This time of year is traditionally a season for Spring cleaning.  I am not sure how many people do have a good old clean of the curtains, skirting boards and cupboard tops around now, but I find that is hard to find time for the basics of housework let alone more in depth cleaning!  Along with the cleaning, often comes a bit of decluttering and that is something I am always trying to do!  Moving every five years helps me not to hoard too much but it’s amazing how quickly clutter builds up!   

When we have a tidy up or a good old sort out, we get rid of things that we don’t want or need any more; things that just clutter up the place and make it look untidy.  The same is true when we declutter our personal lives and Lent is traditionally a time when we are encouraged to take stock of our spiritual lives in the run up to the events of Easter.  As we go about our day to day living we seem to gather things that can clutter up our relationship with God and prevent us living in close relationship with him and other people.

In chapter 11 of the book of Hebrews the writer lists a ‘faith hall of fame’…people who have gone before us who have demonstrated great trust in God despite some pretty difficult circumstances.  He follows this, at the beginning of chapter 12 with the encouragement to us all, in the light of all these inspiring fore runners to

‘…throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.’

I wonder what it is that is cluttering up your relationship with God and others as you read this?  Are there things that have made your life complicated and stressful that you need to lay down before God? 

These could be any number of things – unforgiveness, anger, bitterness, over work, over spending, addictions, people pleasing, lack of boundaries, bad habits or attitudes, wrong priorities, fears and anxieties…the list is endless.  Jesus tells us that when we follow him, his yoke is easy and his burden is light and yet sometimes we are our own worst enemies and try to carry loads we were never intended to bear. 

It can be a great exercise to reflect on the things that might be cluttering up our lives and relationships with God and others and my encouragement to you is to take some time in the coming weeks to rest in God’s presence, fix your eyes on Jesus and invite the Holy Spirit to shine his light on any areas of your life that are entangling you and cluttering up your soul.  It may be that there is something for which you need to say sorry to God or someone else, a relationship that needs restoration, a habit that you need God’s power to break or an attitude that you need God’s help to change.  I pray that as you reflect on the clutter in your lives, you may find the freedom, lightness and joy that comes from living in peace, simplicity and harmony with God and others. And if anyone feels the urge to come and help me clean the house, do let me know! 

2 thoughts on “Spring Cleaning”

  1. Please can we not give the Holy Spirit a masculine pronoun? If fire, breath and wind cannot conjure up feminine power within the Trinity I’m not sure what can?


  2. For me God is not a being but the Love that arises in meaningful human relationships. If I felt the need to think of God as a being then she would be a stranger, a young woman dressed in pale blue with white hair. I wrote a poem about her:-

    Blue Girl

    Will you hold my hand? My blue girl.
    Will the brown, red base of dark earth be set lose
    To burn through the thin envelope of easy boundaries.
    And will this frail frame survive the shock:
    When the sky enfolds the empty clouds,
    When grave weight goes and wild winds blow,
    To soar above the earth,
    Entering the last vast openness
    And will you then hold my hand?

    You hold my hand and the still certainties whirl
    You smile and all is changed
    The new earth glows, tears swell,
    Heart stops, warmth soars and fills all to overflowing.
    Aura sparking, lightening across cerulean bands of blue
    The white light shining in the shine of your hair.
    And I am full, complete and simply blest by standing there.
    At your side, when you hold my hand.

    How can you wield such power, my beloved?
    Your presence alone can lift the chains from the past
    And by a look burn away all the wild regrets
    Your grace takes the need, the loss and the fear
    This is an eternity fitted to a moment
    Everything is in place and fixed and certain
    Where all will be well.
    O! How you overflow my dreams,
    How you colour my days with glory.
    I will praise you and never cease,
    In whose service there is perfect peace.


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