Clearing the way for the simple, straightforward, message #Advent2022

Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert.

Isaiah 43:19

I don’t know about your household, but here at Maul Hall Christmas has us scurrying around in the attic a lot more than usual. Better now than in the summer, when it’s 95 outside and probably 115 up there!

We’re in the attic, of course, for the Christmas decorations. At least, those we can find. Our space is actually pretty well organized, thanks to Rebekah. But looking around always makes me wonder why a good 75% of the stuff is even there.

Christmas, yes; it makes sense to store everything that’s not actually needed eleven months out of the year. Luggage, also yes; we have a variety of suitcases and carryons that meet just about every travel situation.

But then it starts getting fuzzy. Boxes of old tax returns. File cabinets full with stuff we may or may not ever have a use for, but then how could we use something if we don’t know what it is or that it’s even there?

Broken furniture. Maybe I’ll fix it. Certainly not before the garage is cleared out to the point that I know where my workbench is! Medical equipment… Okay, I can see those scenarios cropping up again! Boxes of boxes; bags full of bags… really? Baskets. Candlestick holders. Frames. Desk lamps that need rewiring.

There’s a show we used to watch called “American Pickers.” These guys drive around the United States with a truck, going through barns, abandoned houses, storage sheds, attics. Sometimes they emerge with treasure. Believe me, this isn’t that kind of attic.

To be honest, what I’d like to see is a huge construction waste bin parked outside our house for a couple of weeks. And I wouldn’t stop with the attic!

While I’m at it, there is a lot of junk that needs clearing out of my head, too, and my heart. There has been so much coming at me recently a lot of it just gets stuffed in my subconscious and ends up getting in the way.

What I need is a good clean out. A huge waste bin, lighter fluid, and then matches. I’m smiling already at the idea!

Life that makes sense, in terms of what matters, doesn’t need all the extra distractions and junk. Instead. Just the essentials of knowing who we are, why we are, and where we are headed: identity, purpose, and trajectory.

Christmas is supposed to be uncomplicated too. Understand that we are God’s beloved children; follow the star; bring the gift of ourselves to the Christ child in the manger.

What can I give him, poor as I am? 
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb; 
if I were a Wise Man, I would do my part; 
yet what I can I give him: give my heart.

Simple. Essential. Complete. – DEREK


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