I have a friend whose appearance is always glamorous, lovely smile and twinkling eyes, taste in clothing simply elegant, a heart of empathy and selfless giving. She loves the Lord deeply. She laughs easily and is a delight to be around. However, she has a hidden vice — she hides chocolate in the closet. (By the way — she knows I’m writing this. I didn’t want her to read it and be aghast, even though no one knows who I’m writing about.)
She feels she eats too much of this hidden chocolate; comfort eating she admits, when stresses of life come knocking at her door. She doesn’t want to eat the forbidden sweetness. It depresses her. She has asked me to pray that she will have resolve to resist the chocolate foe. I assured her that I would indeed pray with her about the sweet, delicious nemesis that plagues her.
A considerable amount of time had passed when she confessed that, yet again, she had given in to the appetite of stress, paying a visit to the closet, devouring the confection of delightful misery — she ate the whole bag! She asked that I continue to pray for her. I thought about it and then made a suggestion — how about just throw out the chocolate? Don’t buy it, and there’s no need to hide it away where it tempts and lures. Just get rid of it. While my friend is very serious about this, we have had some good laughs, too.
Don’t we all hang on to things that tempt us to do what we don’t want to do? Anything that zaps away our joy is not worth collecting or hiding away for another day, when it will again suck us down into a place of gloom. We cannot walk in full joy with a collection of joy zappers hidden in the closets of our lives.
C.S. Lewis once said, “Life is a lot like swinging on monkey bars. We can’t move forward until we let go of each rung that would hold us back.”
I like the verses in Proverbs 4:25-27, “Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.”
We all have closets where we hide away unnecessary things that can be retrieved from time to time. Let’s remember, regular spring cleaning is a healthy habit, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. If we have to hide it, chances are, it’s not worth keeping. What’s in your closet?