guest post: benefits of a clean room

Category : God, different, sharing faith


For the last week R3 has been focusing on the theme of obedience, and the sometimes surprising results that can sometimes bring. 

1.  Does God want you to clean your room?

2.  God of the mundane

3.  Prayer Thursday: obedience

4.  Holding on too tight

I tend to think of obedience having the same meaning as “no fun” or “getting in trouble.”  But sometimes obedience is simply setting the rules so that we can have fun.  How much fun would football be if there were no rules?  Not much.

Well these topics spawned a conversation between myself and Chris (  He sent me an email about obedience and cleaning your room.  Apparently God asks more people to clean their room than I ever imagined!  In any event, I thought this would be a perfect wrap-up to last week.  So I asked if I could repost the whole thing: 

About 3 years ago I had a similar experience; maybe it has something to do with being an apartment dwelling bachelor huh?

Seriously, the situation you described sounds very similar. I’m no neat freak, but I usually keep things around the apartment in decent order. Over a period of a few months though, I got lazy. I let bills pile up in a stack on the kitchen counter, and in my office/bedroom there were piles of notes here, miscellaneous PC parts, pens, notepads, more bills, CD-roms, etc; all out of their proper place. I’d use something then not promptly put it back from where I got it, so stuff piled up.

Finally one day it became obvious that I had a small recreation of the junkyard from Sanford & Son in my bedroom. I guess what became bothersome for me at that point is that I usually read or study in my bedroom as well, and having the chaos around was distracting.

As you described, one day God just spoke to me. “Dude, clean your room.” (OK, He didn’t really say “dude”.) So, I obeyed. Afterward, I felt better about things as well, some order had been regained. What I found out shortly after the cleaning episode however was that God seemed to still be talking to me about cleaning up, but it wasn’t in the sense of cleaning up physically. His point seemed to be that I needed to “clean” out the clutter in my life as well, to address a spiritual issue.

The clutter was the activities and distractions that prevented me from digging deeper & more consistently into His Word, as well as the excuses I’d use to not fellowship or serve. I believe that God merely used the distraction of physically cleaning as a metaphor to prepare my heart,eyes and mind for His true concern, my spiritual condition at that time.

I’m always struck how God redeems things in our lives.  Nothing goes to waste.  Yet we sit around refusing to act, refusing to believe, refusing to do much of anything.  As Chris’s story shows, you never know when God’s going to use something ordinary to teach you something extrordinary.