I grew up in a construction family. My father built houses. Most of my summers were spent on the end of a shovel. My brother and I were human backhoes. Many times our father would say, “Give me a ditch three feet deep from here to the house. See you at lunch.” It was hard but rewarding work.
I learned one lesson early on when it came to construction site discipline. Every day at the end of our shift we had to clean up the construction site in preparation for the next day. About a half hour before we called it quits, Dad would shout out to the crew, “Clean it up!” Tools were picked up and materials were accounted for in preparation for the next day’s project. Coming to work without the needed lumber and tools would stop a job in its tracks.
There was a reason for this plan. When we arrived at the construction site the next day it was clean and unencumbered with debris, tools and safety issues. We also had the right equipment and enough raw materials to do our job. The crew could then hit the ground running and get to work without needing to clean up the job site or having to wait for a delivery of lumber.
There is a practical and spiritual application relating to this small piece of my personal history. Our lives can become like a cluttered construction site. Unresolved relational issues, poor spiritual discipline or unwise assumptions can litter our lives to such a degree that we lose sight of the actual thing God wants to work on because all we see is the leftover debris from the previous season. At this point, some people give up and choose to live with a cluttered life becoming so overwhelmed that any personal construction and development comes to a halt.
The reformation currently taking place in the Church will be known for a return to the simplicity of our mission. This return will create a freer and more maneuverable Church. That simplicity will only take place on a larger scale when we as individuals embrace that same simplicity on a personal level. There are many things that are predicted to take place in 2018. Some of those things will only happen if and when we become willing to clear away the personal debris that currently clutters our lives.
You have two weeks left before 2018. It is time to make a decision. The Lord is saying, “Clean it up!” A new workday, a new year, and a new phase of construction are about to begin. Get ready. Get simple. Get excited.