Two ten-pound weights, one tennis racket with a bag of tennis balls, two umbrellas, one yellow legal pad, one screwdriver, four plastic forks, one vacuum cleaner, hand lotion, one VBS lanyard, seven pens, and a stick of deodorant.
You might be wondering what these random objects have in common, so I’ll be the one to tell you. Each of these items was in my car. You see, I only had the car for about a year and a half, but I recently totaled it and had to gather my belongings. I always thought I kept my car fairly neat and tidy—besides some grass here and there that gathered in my floor mats. That was until I had to take everything out.
I began realizing how much I had collected in my vehicle after I began taking some of these objects out of the car. I felt like the magician who pulls the forever long handkerchief out of his pocket. I seriously had so much! But you see, none of those objects were harmful; none of them were sinful; and none of them even took up that much room in the car. But none of those objects really helped me drive better. They just caused clutter and became a distraction. Unfortunately, some of our hearts and lives are very similar to how my car looked.
Here’s the thing about clutter—most of the time, it’s not an intentional occurrence. It happens day after day and week after week when we neglect to clean out the unnecessary things. The stuff that begins to fill our lives may not necessarily be bad things, and they’re not necessarily harmful things. They’re just not necessary. They become distractions and pull us away from our purpose.
Whether you believe it or not, God has called you to and for a specific purpose. As a part of humanity, you are called to a life of relationship with your Creator. As an individual, God has granted you talents, gifts, and experiences that have equipped you and are still equipping you to spread the gospel and bring glory to Him. Sometimes we neglect to focus on the dreams God has given us for a number of reasons. I don’t know what your reason may be, but most of the time, mine is clutter. I get so caught up in my day to day tasks that I forget what my daily purpose actually is. I work hard at a task simply to get it done, not necessarily to learn from it, to minister to someone else, or to bring glory to God through it. I get so caught up in the doing that I forget the purpose.
Now that I’ve been a little transparent with you, take a moment and think about what your “clutter” looks like. It could be multiple things, or you may be able to narrow it down to one key factor in your life. Is it circumstances that don’t seem to make sense when you know you’ve received a word from God to do something or be something? Have you become so caught up in what life looks like from day to day that you’ve forgotten what it is supposed to look like from a few steps back?
Whatever it is, I urge you to leave this page (when you finish reading) and take some time to pray about your purpose. Evaluate if you are still on track with what God has spoken into your life, but don’t be discouraged. Know that God’s Word is forever settled in Heaven, and whatever word you have received from Him will come to fruition. He has not called you and brought you where you are for you to coast through life dipping in the shallow ends of the pool. He has called you and is equipping you with experiences for you to dive into what He has planned.
Your circumstances may not be ideal right now, but neither were Joseph’s when he was between his home and Pharaoh’s palace. Thankfully, he held on to God’s Word despite the “clutter” that seemed to drown out his dreams. Abraham was in the same situation when God asked him to sacrifice his only child. It didn’t make sense to kill his only child, especially because God said He would make Abraham a father of many nations. However, he held on to the promise regardless of his clutter.
Don’t forget about Noah. God asked him to make a boat because it was going to rain enough to flood the earth. Noah had never even seen rain before, but he held on to God’s Word when it didn’t seem realistic. As you scroll to the end of this article, I pray you do more than step away with a few words floating in your memory. I ask you to earnestly evaluate your purpose, and ask God to help you clean out the clutter that has collected in your mind, heart, and lifestyle that hinder you from holding on to what God has spoken to you.
“Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him” (Proverbs 30:5).
Sarah is the Hyphen contributor for InsideOut. She hails from South Carolina and attends Urshan College in Florissant, Missouri. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter.