So my wife and I were watching Hoarders today. For those of you that are not aware of this show allow me to explain the premise. While we are led to believe that these are individual essays on people that can't throw things away, and often live in their own filth, these are not just messy people though. These are deeply psychologically wounded people that I think (remember I am not a mental health expert just in case you were wondering) believe that trash cans are supposed to be feared.
I can't help being infuriated by this show. I watch things, for some odd reason, that stir an emotional reaction within me. These are people whose inability to throw things out actually push out loved ones and destroy their homes. I watched one home being cleaned out today where they found two cats that died at the bottom of the pile of debris. Follow this, practically the most agile domesticated animal could not escape the mountain of waste and were likely suffocated at the bottom of the pile. While the woman seemed ambivalent to the fact that her son and daughter would no longer have anything to do with her because she chose filth over them, she would just sit and complain about things and would have to be prompted to thank people for the hours and days of hard work that would have to be put in while working in biohazard conditions.
I was in full "I hate this woman and wish she would be euthanized by a cat" mode, and then it dawned on me, "We are all hoarding something."
What are you hoarding? Maybe it is a hurt from a past relationship. You put on that brave face and maybe you even post on Facebook about your independence, but you still carry that scar and it jades your outlook on everything. Another person may be struggling with past failures. So many times we collect our failures and allow our worst moments to define who we are to ourselves. The next time you see me ask me what my strengths and weaknesses are. Watch me struggle to eek out a couple of strengths, and then watch me struggle to figure out which of my many weaknesses are the least inflammatory to admit to. All of us need to stop focusing all of our demons and start realizing that there is a God that sees us as treasures and not as the worthless people we view ourselves as. Let me expound on that point:
Imagine my father gave me a $1,000.00 and I set it on fire in front of him, my Dad would view that as a huge sign of disrespect. He would see that I had no respect for the gift that he graciously offered to me. In the same way we hurt the Heart of God by looking our lives, lives that He has created for a purpose, as worthless and littered with our faults. God wants us to live a life that exudes Heavenly confidence. The type of confidence that I am referring to is not a "God is in control so I will just sit here and do nothing so He can fix it," but rather a confidence that understands that while we are human we a subject to God's rules. God has a way of taking horrible hurt and turning it into incredible opportunities for growth.
That growth doesn't come without work though. We can't just sit around and think that we are going to grow because something bad happened and expect God to pull us out of our despair. God allows us to go through things that are less than pleasant (or flat out suck for that matter) in order for us to grow in our faith and gifts so we can become more like Him. Going to church alone is not going build your faith in the face of adversity anymore than I am going to acquire rock hard abs by watching Six Minute Abs while sitting on my sofa. We are going to have to go through work. God will show you what it is that he is wanting you to do if you will spend time in prayer and listen for His voice. The listening part is key. Prayer without listening just becomes a laundry list of demands without truly trying to seek him.
You are not the sum total of your mistakes. You are were made with a purpose and that purpose is not to be a luggage carrier. Your baggage is not meant for you to carry. To become all that God has intended us to be we have to stop hoarding pain and depression, and start stocking up on His promises and seeking His blessings.