(January 6, 2008)

Our pastor started his sermon today in a way that was so apropos to what I am going through right now. He talked about the junk we all tend to collect. He talked about almost being at the point of checking the lane to make sure no one is coming before opening the garage door, so embarrassed was he about the mess in there. My husband and I feel the same way. Things have gotten so out of hand that we bought a pickup truck a couple of weeks ago, partly because we need an extra vehicle, and partly because we need to haul away a lot of junk…and not only from the garage. We have three rooms in the house where walking through the room and finding things is a challenge. Embarrassing!

Yesterday my 35-year-old son spent a couple of hours trying to get rid of some of the junk he’s been storing at our house. I need the space for my studio. Unbelievable the stuff he has hung onto all these years: notebooks from elementary school, a pirate ship he made out of popsicle sticks when he was in grade five, an incomplete set of dominos in a broken wooden box – something he played with every time he went to Grandma’s house when he was a toddler. Then there’s the toy box Grandpa made for him for his first Christmas, Lego, a collection of Mad magazines, a favourite tshirt from when he was nine, and a drawer of socks and underwear from his teen days. Unbelievable!

The preamble to the sermon led to a talk about the emotional junk we have in our life and how we need to deal with that if we are to be spiritually mature. In his notes he wrote, “God wants to transform your whole life. That is really what growth to spiritual maturity is all about. But for that to happen you will have to allow him into the junk rooms of your life and cooperate with His Spirit to clean up and clear out the junk that has accumulated over the course of your life.” I hope my emotional junk rooms are not as bad as the junk rooms in my home!

One friend I spoke to after the service didn’t know if she could go through with the series we’ll be doing at our small group – studying the book Emotionally Healthy Spirituality and accompanying workbook by Peter Scazzero. She didn’t think she’d be able to summon the honesty that was going to require from her. But as Romans 8:38-39 states: “Nothing will separate us from the love of God, “neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation…” Knowing that should allow us to be honest with ourselves and with others. God will love us no matter what is revealed.

In the words of Scazzero: “Emotional health powerfully anchors me in the love of God by affirming that I am worthy of feeling, worthy of being alive, and lovable even when I am brutally honest about the good, the bad, and the ugly deep beneath the surface…”