Monday, January 25, 2010

When Things Fall Apart

My closet collapsed this morning. I was hanging up a suit I wore yesterday and as soon as I hung it up, my closet fell down. Although the suit was hanging there just yesterday, I guess the hooks that held up the shelf said, “I just can’t take it anymore.”

As a result I had to take all of my clothes out of the closet. They are spread out across my bed. I have been meaning to clean my closet for years. Now my closet falling apart has forced the situation. Things that I have not worn for years will go into the garbage bag headed for the Salvation Army. Instead of clogging my closet, they can be a blessing to someone who needs it.

As I look at my now empty closet, I see it as an opportunity. An opportunity to get rid of the old, maybe bring in a few new. A chance to see what I really have and to start using those things I have forgotten I had.

When things fall apart in our lives it also can be an opportunity. It can be frustrating and a lot of hard work. As I look at the pile of clothes that now occupy my bed, I think --another thing to do that I hadn’t really planned on doing today. But it can be a blessing to me and others.

When things in our life break it may be a chance to get rid of the stuff that was loading us down and crowding us out. When the things that had been holding us up say, “I just can’t take one more thing,” it can help us remove the clutter and focus on what’s important. When things fall apart it help us see what’s really in our lives and what we need to get rid of and the important things we need to keep or maybe take to the cleaners, sew on a new button and restore. It might help us get organized or force us to face something that we have been meaning to get to for years, but haven’t had the heart or courage or fortitude to face. Maybe we just didn’t know where to even start.

But when things fall apart, we have no choice. Will we let our “stuff” lay in ruins on the floor or will we pick it up, sort it out and start again? Will it be a never-ending tragedy or the start of an opportunity?

Divorce, sickness, relationship problems, tragic circumstances, the death of a loved one, just plain old life--all of these things can bring our world crashing down like my closet. What will we do? Will it become a blessing eventually or will it become bitterness, fear or complacency?

My husband will fix my closet shelves. I will also buy more storage and take a lot of stuff to the Salvation Army or give it to others who need it or will use it. But when things are stabilized again and I start putting my clothes back in the closet, the load will be lighter. Someone else will be blessed from the bounty of my closet. And after I’ve done the work, I will smile when I open the closet and turn on the light.

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