By: Pastor Jarren Rogers
When you walk into the Rogers’ household, you enter our dining room. If you keep walking, you will hit our living room and kitchen with ascending stairs on your left. Chances are, stacked atop the bottom step, you will find piles of miscellaneous objects. Leafs of papers and paid bills. Shoes that were flung off days ago. Smaller books stacked on top of bigger books on top of bigger books, all teetering on top of one very tiny book, for some mysterious reason. (Seriously, who stacks books like this? They are just begging to tumble onto the floor.)
Just around the corner lies another staircase, this one leading down. There you will find another stack, most of them board games. Some Dvd’s are splayed out on the floor as well.
Now, if you live in a home with stairs leading up or down, you may possess similar stacks at the base of your staircases. If you have such stacks, you know why they exist.
There comes a time when living in a multi-story home, that one wishes to tidy up. In the pursuit of your cleaning, you come upon a certain item that simply does not belong on this particular floor. Perhaps it is a book that is better suited on the bookcase that sits upstairs.
But you really wouldn’t like to go up all of those stairs just now, would you? All that work, all those stairs, for one measly book? No. You don’t want to do that, so you lie the book on the bottom step of the staircase, telling yourself, “The next time I go upstairs, I’ll be sure to take that book with me.”
But herein lies the problem.
You put the book on the bottom stair and go about your cleaning, but soon you find another object that deserves to go upstairs, and so you add it on top of the book. And then you find another object, and another, and another, all of them needing to go upstairs. By the end of your cleaning spree, you end up with a giant pile of different items fixed on the first step of both staircases that needs to go either upstairs or downstairs.
But you never take them up the stairs, do you? Now it really is too much work. Not only do I have to climb this steep staircase with its many steps, but I also have to struggle with this faltering pile of books, papers, and boxes.
So the pile remains. You climb up and down the staircase time and time again, and the pile remains. You step around it, step over it. Never wishing to bite the bullet and haul it upstairs.
Here’s where I’m getting at: Whether or not you have a staircase, you may have a teetering pile stacked up. But this pile exists in your heart. It’s heaped into the dark corners where you avoid looking. It’s the bundle of your imperfections and dirty secrets. It’s filled with the things that you know you must change about yourself, but it would be too painful. It’s your secret sins that you don’t want to confront, but you know you must.
That pile lies in your heart, but rather than face it, we add to it. We step around it, going up and down the stairs, following our Christian duty. The stack remains. The stack grows.
It’s time to confront the stacks and allow God to carry them away.
It’s much easier to walk up and down the stairs that way.
One response to “The Stacks”
Ah, yes the stacks. Mine accumulate on my kitchen counter. I look at them daily with the same intent you write about here. I eventually get into the mess and get rid of most that accumulated and bugged me for too long. Cleaning away the stacks is liberating. I feel like I am at last focused on what is important. Thank you Jarren. Always glean something applicable to my life when I read your Daily Pursuits. Blessings.