People completely let their houses go to the dogs. Trash and junk fill the house from front door to back deck. Furniture is buried, relationships are strained and layers of dust and mold are so thick that it would even make Charlie Brown’s friend Pig Pen cringe.
The messy homeowners then call the “Clean House” team of experts to come in and assist them in making a major change by cleaning their homes then refinishing them with new designs, carpet or furniture given as rewards for actually letting go of the trash they said they didn’t want anymore.
I know what you are thinking, “No one gave me a new sofa to let go of my old broken fish tank,” but often it is these incentives that causes people to actually let go of worthless items.
Usually the home owners are from other cultures however this particular episode featured an African American family. I began to shake my head. Sadly, while most of us know that no one African American or African American family represents all of us, there are people in other cultures whose only exposure to us is through mass media.
Many are chronically misinformed (often by shows that we create and support) that all of our sons are aspiring murders, gang members or misogynistic rappers and all of our daughters are neck rolling examples of bad behavior and standing in line for the chance to receive free benefits or to be the next nearly naked video vixen. Therefore, the thought of a black family giving a guided tour of what Nash calls, their “mayhem and foolishness,” made me nervous.
A few moments later my fears were relieved as the family appeared normal. The family was more of a messy version of the Huxtables than a remix of “Real World” or any of the Real Housewives series.
Both the mother and father loved one another and worked hard to provide for the family and the kids were going to school and doing well. They were well mannered and respectful, just messy.
The “Clean House” team helped the family to sort through all of their belongings and host a yard sale to raise money for the renovations. In the process of cleaning the house they found $5,000 in loose cash laying around in different areas of the house beneath all of their mess.
Yet the most fascinating thing about the episode is when they went onto the bedroom of the son Donavan. In the midst of literally knee high clutter the organizational expert found a dozen or more unopened Christmas gifts. The gifts were wrapped and buried beneath other things. Donavan revealed that there was so much stuff at Christmas that even months later, he “just didn’t get to them.”
I began to think of how many times we are blessed with so many things from the Lord that we “don’t even get to.” How many talents do you have that you are no longer using actively. How many “hobbies” have you had that you no longer “have time to use?”
Do you find yourself buying clothes when you know how to sew them, or paying someone to fix a car that you could just as easily repair for a tenth of the cost?
Every gift that we have is not a spiritual gift. Your talents are also gifts from the Lord. These talents are to be used for His glory!
God designed you to make a difference. God created you to be a blessing not just to yourself but to others who need to see God reflected in your gifts. Have you ever noticed that when you have something wonderful one of the first questions asked is, “Where did you get this?”
Have you ever experienced getting a really great bite of food and you asked, “Who made this?” It is a natural process for something great to shift the focus from the greatness of the created to the greatness of the Creator.
When you do wonderful things with your opened gifts you draw attention to the Lord. You do a disservice to yourself and the Kingdom every time you refuse to open your gifts because you “didn’t have time.”
This week, clean house! It’s time to get rid of the distractions and excuses and begin to shine without hesitation or reservation. God created you to be great at something. So whether you are the greatest parent or the greatest gardener, the greatest teacher or the greatest dog walker, let people see God reflected in the way you actively use your gifts.