Do You Have Enough to Go the Distance? Part 5

Spring Cleaning

By: Marcy Barthelette
Memorial Day has been observed and spring is transitioning to summer. High schools and colleges are graduating seniors
in many unique ways. Schools are trying to determine how the fall semester will look and sports are trying to make a radically changed comeback. Our communities are tentatively reopening businesses and services. But COVID 19 is still with us and probably will be a part of our lives for a while. Before we end this series, let’s explore one more facet of our personal journey of discovery.
Because so many people have been observing the stay at home order this spring, we see lots of projects being completed that have been warming on the back burner for a while. In our neighborhood, as well as many others, longed for renovations are becoming a reality and garages are being cleared of unwanted clutter (this includes our garage because Ken had made a few too many pre-pandemic trips to flea markets and had so many vintage tools needing rehab that he couldn’t find the top of his workbench). Everyone’s yards are beautifully manicured, new veggie gardens are popping up everywhere and trees are being removed. That’s right, trees. What has caused so many of our neighbors to find no further need for these champions of relief from the summer sun? Why are they so willing to destroy habitat for birds and squirrels? Is it because they fear the mighty winds that howl through our area? Do they have a burning desire to make their lawn mowing easier? Are they tired of raking up the constant mess that trees create? Whatever motivates them, trees are leaving our neighborhood with regularity and I really miss their stately presence.
  All of this cleaning out and removal of unwanted stuff has given me pause to wonder how much emotional clutter might need to disappear along with the physical. We, as a society, have been generously blessed with “things”. Now, don’t worry. Though a little decluttering would likely benefit most of us, I’m not suggesting that you give everything away. I’m really more focused on the unpleasant stuff stored away in our hearts and minds. C’mon now, you and I both know we have a lot of clutter in our personal attics. Among my cobwebs I find pockets of despair and disillusionment, especially now. After all, I wanted to travel this spring and enjoy lots of camping, but a microscopic virus kept that from happening. With just a little searching I know I can find a grudge or two that I hold against others and, just maybe, I could recognize my own unfair judgment of others. Surely I couldn’t be guilty of selfishness or greed, could I? And what about all the times I haven’t trusted God but thought I could get myself through a tough situation? When was the last time that I displayed endless and unconditional love to someone other than family or close friends? When have I turned my love toward a difficult person or a stranger?
Go out on a limb when you pray for others. Take a risk. Be courageous. Be passionate. Take a leap. Love a lot, not just a little. Rick Hamlin, Author.
Our journey through the COVID 19 Pandemic is giving us ample time for prayer and contemplation and we hope that, when our monster is tamed, we won’t be tasked with this kind of forced isolation again. But, whatever happens, we must always be aware of our need for someone greater than ourselves. Ask yourself, does taking away many of the things I consider important draw me closer to God, or do I question His role in my discomfort? Do I blame Him or do I thank Him for His presence through it all?
I have little doubt that we can all dredge up mounds of physical, emotional, and spiritual clutter that need to find their way to the trash bin. By removing them, all that extra space in our lives can be devoted to sharing the gifts God gave us. We are all gifted in certain ways but it is not the gift that matters most to God. He cares much more about how we use our gifts. Let’s all identify our gifts and examine how we’re using them. Long ago God set His commandments in stone and He expects us to live by them to the best of our ability. But when Jesus was asked which is the greatest commandment of all, He answered:
….the greatest of these is love. I Corinthians 13:13
In the end, do you have enough love to go the distance? If the love is there, everything else will follow.
Lord, in a painful season, may I remember that my (our) story is not yet over and that your redeeming
love can shape every new season. Carol Kuykendall, Author and Speaker
I hope you have gained something from this series as I have truly enjoyed writing it. Please join me for
whatever topic He places on my heart next. God bless you all….Marcy

One Response to “Do You Have Enough to Go the Distance? Part 5”


    Marcy, thank you for your Gatepost essays. I enjoy them very much. They always give me “food for thought” and are truly a blessing.

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