Focus: Too empty—or too full?
Revelation 3:20-21 (NKJV) Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To Him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
God forbid that we should be so full of ourselves and people and possessions that we would have no cavity left for Him to fill. Could we possibly stand to be emptier? Is the problem not so much that we are not empty, as that we are filled with the wrong things?
We keep taking in, taking in, taking in—without letting go of enough.
We’ve all known someone who is a collector—of everything. They have very little power over their desire to acquire. Whenever they see something they like, they feel compelled to take it home and let it live with them. It doesn’t matter that the object has no use and doesn’t match anything else they own, they just ‘like it’ and ‘have to have it’.
Some people are obsessively neat and tidy about their excessive inventory—other people just stuff things into corners and cubbyholes. They might have a vague idea that they really don’t need anything and that their ‘space’ is pretty filled up, but somehow, that doesn’t stop them from bringing more and more stuff into the mix.
I thought I’d do a little research about people who hoard, to see if I could get more insight about the ‘whys and wherefores’ of hoarding. I was stunned to see the houses of a couple of different people who are compulsive hoarders. These people gave up trying to manage their stuff a long time ago.
There was a man who had to literally crawl from room to room in his house because the things he had accumulated only left three or four feet of ‘air space’ below the ceiling. In other words, he was climbing over a pile of stuff that was four or five feet deep.
What causes people to feel like ‘getting more stuff’ is a good idea, when they are unable to see the floor anymore and the stuff has covered all of their furnishings so that they have nowhere to sit or eat or sleep? What makes a person fill their house to the point where they would be ashamed to invite anyone to come inside?
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Imagine the loneliness of living a life like that. True hoarders rarely let people into their homes. They have a tendency to hide their habit. They know they have too much stuff, but instead of getting rid of anything, they just keep bringing more things home.
So what about being an emotional hoarder? Is there such a thing? I think we’ve probably all known some of those, too. I’ll be honest enough to admit that years ago, I had to have ‘noise’ all of the time. I either had the radio or music or the TV going constantly. The space around me that was capable of being filled with sound, was stuffed!
I didn’t like it when everything was quiet. If it was quiet, then I would start thinking dark thoughts. I felt ‘safer’ when there was a talk show or music going in the background…something to listen to. When I was ‘listening’, I didn’t have to think as much—so I filled all of my time with noise.
Audio overload is a type of ‘hoarding’, if you think about it. I was filling myself as full as possible with things I thought were important to listen to…actually imagining in some far fetched fantasy that I might find myself in a conversation someday where this information would prove to be useful.
When the Savior of the world was ‘on His way’, there was no room at the inn where Mary and Joseph had stopped, hoping to stay for the night. Mary was in labor and must have been desperate for a quiet, private room where she could give birth.
The innkeeper met the couple at the door and offered the stable where he kept his animals, which they accepted. Scripture says there was no room for them. It’s also possible that the innkeeper observed Mary and knew she was going to have a baby before the night was over. He may have been worried that his other guests would be offended if Mary were to be noisy in the process of bringing forth her firstborn child.
What reasons do we give for not having more room for the King of kings?
Declaration: I will not give excuses as to why I am ‘too full’ of the wrong things. I will find new strength by becoming empty of the wrong things, so I can be filled with the right One.