The Church is going through a transition. We are being prepared for the future through a process of simplification. Before that transition can take place on a larger scale, it must first happen in our personal lives. It is never enough to ask, or even demand that individuals or a group change unless we have gone through the needed change ourselves. It is easy to toss rocks of disapproval if we have not experienced the needed transition on a personal level and felt the touch of God’s mercy in the process.
I have a friend who is a very successful real estate agent. He has performed in the top percentile of realtors nationally year after year. Besides the excellent character and care he provides for his clients, he does something else to prepare a home or sale. He stages the home.
Staging means if the home is vacant, he brings in few pieces of furniture and just enough wall hangings to add a human touch to a vacant home. If the home is occupied, he wisely and gently advises a homeowner how to remove unnecessary personal clutter from the home that could stand in the way of a prospective buyer seeing through the clutter to reveal as they say, “the bones of the home.” Staging a home for sale is done to spark the imagination of a buyer to see themselves living in the home.
If you have found certain aspects of your life being stripped away, instead of fighting what is taking place, it would be wise to first ask the Lord if this is something He is doing. Our lives can become like a long-term homeowner who has filled every available inch of wall space and every shelf with something. This accumulation of decades of knick-knacks, family photos, and memorabilia can become obstacles, not assets.
There are times the Lord will have us begin to downsize the clutter in our lives so the Spirit can do a simple, yet profound work of personal transition. We can resist this change because our surroundings have become familiar and something we can manage. A cluttered spiritual dwelling lacks the available space and imagination required to make room for God to do something new because all our available space is currently occupied.
When our lives are finally staged for the arrival of God’s Spirit there is another benefit. Those investigating a life of faith will look at our simple offering and be able to see the “bones” of a life of faith because they can imagine their life living in such a dwelling. We need to keep our lives as simple and uncluttered as a home that has been staged for a new buyer. A yielded and uncluttered life becomes a welcoming testimony similar to prospective clients walking through a staged home and turning to each other and saying, “I can see us living here.”