Perhaps Empty Me may become my theme for 2009. It’s certainly been apropos this January. In order to lay the hardwood floors, and do the other construction, in our living room and dining room we had to completely empty both rooms. (When half of one of those rooms is my office, it's no small task.) Add to that the necessary tools, supplies and equipment, our house has became an obstacle course. “Stuff” was everywhere…and I’d just gotten the house back in tip top shape as I reclaimed it from Christmas.
Did I mention we’re doing all of this work ourselves, under the expert direction of my sister who is the brains behind the operation. This isn’t a sit back and watch, and offer the workers refreshing beverages, project. No, we’ve paid for the results with our sweat equity. By the end of each day (like midnight), Dan, my sister and I are spent—emptied physically. (We’re fast tracking the project because my sister has a deadline to go back home to Florida.)
This business of transformation is hard work. It isn’t for the faint of heart, those without a desire to see it through to the end, or those who need continual order. If you don’t believe me, here’s the view to our front door last week. (This area usually has nothing in it except a coat rack by the front door.) It’s like an obstacle course navigating through the cluttered pathways in our house.
But today, I finished assembling my desk and began the process of putting the piles of "stuff" away. This is when the fun starts and we can see the rooms coming to life.
The Bible says, “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corin. 3:18) … AND …
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” ( Corin. 5:17)
The transformation promised by Jesus is beautiful and miraculous. For me, it’s the hope of my “old” becoming “new” that spurs me on. But, transforming into the likeness of Christ is hard work. It shakes up our ordered lives. It requires perseverance. It's uncomfortable and often messy. And it takes time—a long time. However, God won’t do it all while we sit back and offer beverages. We’ve got to roll up our sleeves and participate in the process. He directs, we follow. We take down, He builds up. We empty, He fills.
If our home renovation is any indication, the work is hard, but the results are more than worth the effort.
Holy Fire burn away,
my desire for anything
that is not of you and is of me.
I want more of you and less of me.
--From "Empty Me" by Jeremy Camp