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Clean out the clutter
November 1, 2010
by Rev. Lyndon Korhonen, Good Shepherd Free Lutheran Church, Cokato

When I was younger, a rainy holiday was quite disappointing. Now that I am over 50, I tend to try to shift gears and do what would make the best use of my time.

This year, at the cabin, rain started falling on Labor Day evening. Dad and I had been working on extension jambs, and after supper, he was going home.

I had planned to fish that evening, and the next morning. However, it rained and the wind blew. If I’d had others who wanted to fish, I know I would have put on the rain gear and tried to enjoy it, but since I was the lone fisherman, I decided to instead tackle the leftover pieces of railing, rim, stairway, and sheathing, and a lot of other pieces that I wanted to reuse as they were just too good to burn.

I started putting up leftover sheathing on the wall. Then, I used a few closet shelf brackets and put up a shelf. I found a couple more shelving brackets I could use, and a few old shelves that would quickly go up. I used a few long log screws to hang the garden hoses – and things were starting to roll.

Soon, it was time to stop for dinner, and I had almost forgotten about fishing! When I moved the wood pieces, I even found a better way to store them and have plenty of floor space in my shop.

On the way home, I began to replay the work of that day. It brought great satisfaction to me as I recalled what the shop looked like before the rain started, compared to how it looked after I finished the sorting project.

What had started out as a disappointing rainy day had turned into “Thank you, Lord, for the rain so I could conquer that shop project I was not looking forward to doing.”

Could it be that in your life you also have an area that needs cleaning out? Is there something that you need to take care of?

Perhaps, it’s an apology to a neighbor, whose dog you shot five years ago and never told him. Maybe you hollered at the neighbor’s children and later, noticed one of the mothers looking on – and you haven’t talked since.

It could be you criticized a co-worker to your boss with the intent of getting ahead of him/her. Or maybe it is someone as close as your mate, from whom you need to ask forgiveness for that proud look you gave him/her the last time he/she irritated you.

Oh, it is good to get the conscience clean and uncluttered. It will pay wonderful dividends of peace and joy to you when you do what God’s Word exhorts you to do.

Hebrews 10:21 says, “And since we have a great priest over the house of God (Jesus), let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience, and having our bodies washed with pure water.”

I pray that what I experienced in enjoying a clean shop, you will experience many times over in having a clean and clear conscience.