As I look out into our back garden now covered with Autumn leaves I see all sorts colours. From the brightest reds, to the deepest browns, there are evergreen and moss greens it’s an array of flora that has recently exploded into colour and is now spread across the garden. It will need clearing up, but there’s no rush, it has only been a couple of weeks since we spent time picking and sweeping. There’s a neighbour out in their front garden with a leaf blower he’s there most weekends, their garden is much neater than mine.
Beyond my garden there is a high hawthorn hedge which belongs to a bungalow. In the garden of the bungalow there are all sorts of left-over building materials and enough building equipment to stock a hardware store. I pass the front of the bungalow on my morning walk sometimes. In the driveway there are at least four vehicles which are full of more building materials, each vehicle is surrounded by more building material and I wouldn’t be surprised of there are more vehicles hidden under the other material. At the entrance to the driveway there are two more vehicles which are themselves full of building material and other detritus, they stay at the entrance because they can’t get in the drive. I’ve never met the person who lives in the house but it doesn’t look like a happy place to live.
A couple of months ago I had some time available on a Saturday to start to clear out the garage which had got a bit messy with things being delivered, stored and restored. It was becoming frustrating clambering over things all the time trying to find the thing I was looking for. Unfortunately the clearing out had only got to that point where it didn’t really look much better than when I had started before I had to finish. I wanted to get the tidying finished so that I could store the garden furniture for the rapidly approaching autumn and winter. A couple of weeks ago I again had some time available to finish the job. After sorting, sweeping and a few trips to the local tip it felt so rewarding to put everything in its place and to see how much free space there was in there and how easily the garden furniture fitted.
There are parts of my life that like each one of these places, a bit messy like the garden, in need of serious clearing out like the bungalow and nicely tidy (for now) like the garage. There’s something very rewarding about clearing these places out but some of them look like a big job and that’s when we need help. Thankfully Jesus doesn’t expect us to have a cleared out life, he just wants to help us with the tidying and to get to know us in the process. Thankfully he’s not comparing our level of cleanliness to our neighbours, he knows us and wants to meet us where we are. From my experience Jesus is more interested in getting to know us that getting everything right in our lives.