It’s the other side of finding just the right house and making the move, isn’t it? Unpacking, I mean. It’s both a chore and, sometimes, a surprising pleasure. As you put things in their places in your new place, you are likely to find items you should have let go and discover treasures you had forgotten you had. Chore or pleasure, it has to be done. We are at it now at our new place, and glad to be.
Unpacking is a good metaphor for the spiritual life, too. We carry guilt over past failures, or anxieties from any number of sources. We resist asking forgiveness for error and sin, or lack confidence that we can trust God’s forgiveness, grace and unconditional love.
Some of us need to unpack and let go of voices from childhood we carry in our heads, too. Some call these the “be-don’t be” voices. They say things, sometimes well-meant, like: “Be perfect, be pleasing, be careful, try hard, and hurry up,” interpreted often by children as meaning: “Don’t be messy, don’t be close, don’t be who God created you to be.”
“Cast all your anxieties on God, for God cares for you,” says 1 Peter 5:7.
“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls,” says the Lord Jesus (Matthew 11:28-29).
Unpacking the material stuff of our lives and deciding what to keep and what to let go is one thing. Unpacking the emotional hold of the past can open the way to becoming the authentic person God intended. For some, it can save a life as well as grow a soul.
Getting rid of the junk in our spiritual lives can, in the power of the Spirit, make way for us to hear the loving, grace-filled message of Jesus who is calling: “Be here, be accepted, be loved, be real, be Mine.”
Grace and peace,