Clean, but not organized

About 6 months ago i cleaned out our garage.  As most americans know, this was no easy task.  Culturally (for those of us who are “normal”) the garage is simply the place where you throw all your junk that you have no idea what to do with.

“Put it in the garage.”

So i finally carved out a couple days and did it, and it was clean.



About 2 days ago I cleaned out our garage.  Yes.  Again.  It was a landfill.  Again.  What the hec happened?

Well….about 6 months ago (like i said) i cleaned our garage….but I didn’t organize it.  Stuff was neat and tidy and tucked away, but there wasn’t a system to guide the ongoing cleanliness of the garage.  so,

“I don’t know…..put it over there…”

Happened enough times and now…..we have another hiroshima.  Another mess.

What’s the point.


St. Augustine talked about the fact that the problem with the human heart is that we have disordered loves.  Let me make sure you heard that correctly.  He said our problem is not our problems.  Not our sins.  But our loves.  They are not ordered.  They are not organized.

The natural tendency of the human heart is to clean itself up.  And this applies to the christian AND the non-christian.  We all feel the need to “get ourselves together”….and we do this either through self-discovery (the nonbeliever) or moral conformity (the believer) (as tim keller so aptly puts it).

So every 6 months or so there is a revival of “clean up time”.  Alright.  Buckle down.  Get it done.  Finally do it.  And you go on a cleaning spree.  you throw the beer in the trash.  you get a new devotional book.  you burn the porn.  you start evangelizing daily.  you wake up at 4 am and sing every tomlin song you know.

The garage is finally clean, and man you feel good.  (i mean really.  after i cleaned that thing i wanted to sleep in there.)

But what happens?  You guessed it.

You mess up again.  And after a little time….. the garage….your life….it’s another bomb site.  And why is this?

you.  didn’t.  organize.

a problem came and you didn’t know where to put it.  a blessing came and you didn’t know where to put it.

What did my garage need?  To be cleaned?  Yes.  But what did it also need?  It needed someone….an image bearer of God….to come in there and say “this goes here and it always goes here”.  “This is trash and so it goes in the trash can.”  “This is important and so it always goes here.”

and do you know that’s what you need?  what I need?

we need for Someone to not only cleanse us…but for Someone…..The Image of God….to come in and order us.  To arrange us.  To put our restless, messy hearts at rest.  to come in and say this is important and it goes here.  This is worth keeping but you don’t need it now.  This is an idol and it goes in the trash.  this you need, and you need to use it everyday.

THAT’S what you need.  but you must invite Him in.  you must let Him.

You must trust in His blood to cleanse you and you must actively trust in His power to change you.  You must believe that only his wisdom and goodness can order your heart and life in such a way that it doesn’t become a wasteland again…..reeking and moldy and always making people trip and generally just not doing what it was made to do.

Let me reiterate….we don’t organize our loves/lives.  We can’t.  But He can.  Let Him come in.  Surrender.  Let him order everything for your good and for your joy.

He will throw some things away.   He will give you some new things.  He will put some things out of your reach.

But He loves you.  Look at the cross.   He will die to see to it that you are clean, and that you stay that way.

Writing that you might be so,