“You will find peace not by trying to escape your problems, but by confronting them courageously. You will find peace not in denial, but in victory.”- J. Donald Walters
Ever since I can remember I’ve had a chair in my room. Over the years, the chairs have looked differently. I’ve had rocking chairs, whicker chairs, and wooden chairs. But, the one thing about the chairs that remained consistent is that they all morphed into a chair monster. Well, that’s what my parents called it anyway. You may be thinking, “What is a chair monster?” You probably have one lurking in your room, too.
A chair monster is when you have a beautiful chair that you can actually sit on in your bedroom. It’s useful. It can serve a purpose. But, somehow, this chair becomes home to spare socks, dirty shirts, and maybe that pair of jeans that you wore once, but you will wear again before you wash them. However, you don’t want to take the time to fold them and put them in the dresser just yet. The pile of clothes that sits in the chair becomes so large, that it can actually take over the room…hence the chair monster.
When I was a teenager, and my parents would tell me to clean out the chair monster, it was always the worst job. That meant that I would be painstakingly sorting and rehanging clothes for hours. I would always find something in the bottom of the chair, too. You know, a little surprise like a missing shoe, or a headband. But, if I got too lazy to really clean it out, I would lay a towel over it. Now, for some reason, my teenage mind would rationalize that if I cover the monster with a towel my parents wouldn’t see it. Then, by some miracle, maybe they wouldn’t make me clean it out. Yeah, that never worked.
I’ve forgotten about the chair monster until the other day when I was folding laundry on my bed. I couldn’t find a matching sock (which is nothing new in my family. We only wear mismatched socks. I’m not kidding) but, I turned around and saw the chair monster in all it’s glory. And, I started thinking, why do I allow the chair monster to grow?? My chair would be so much more useful if I just cleaned it out and put things away where they are supposed to go.
Isn’t that just like life??
We all have our own “life” chair monsters, too. When we have issues we don’t want to deal with, we just toss them aside thinking we have put them in their place. It may be dealing with a disobedient child. We know there is a problem. But, we just don’t feel like arguing right now, so we toss it into the chair. Or, that reoccurring issue in our marriage that is never solved because to solve it would mean that we may have to dig deep and go to places we don’t want to.
There we go again, another toss.
It could be a problem at work where we may need to confront a co-worker or share the love of Jesus with someone that the Lord is telling us to, but we tell ourselves it’s just not worth it, or we don’t have time.
Then, we turn around and we see this massively huge monster that we have created. So, instead of being responsible for it, we sort of handle it by putting a towel over it. We cover it so we don’t see the problem. We tell ourselves that life is good. We can work on those things later. We rationalize. When all the time, there is still a big ole mess under the towel that NEEDS to be dealt with. And, just like the chair monster makes my bedroom look terrible and dirty, a life monster makes your life messy and not flow the way it should. It’s time to clean house!
I know it can be challenging to face problems that we have in our lives. In reality, we really don’t want to face our part in the whole picture. We don’t want to see what we did or didn’t do to contribute to the monster because if we see it…then we may have to do the unthinkable and …..change! Why is change so scary?? If we don’t change, then we don’t grow. And if we don’t grow, we can’t really fulfill our purposes that the Lord has given us.
If the monster looks too big to handle, take one problem at a time! Don’t just dump it out all at once. Save the biggest for last. You will find that most of these issues that you kept putting aside weren’t all that bad in the first place. And, even if they ended up being difficult, at least they aren’t hiding under the towel anymore.
“Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. “ 2 Corinthians 7:1