Ok, I tried.  I tried to let the scary bowl picture just speak for itself…a little humor for all of us who fight the daily battle against the clutter demon.  But I cannot just walk away from my sister’s comment on that post.  It was just too ripe with deeper meaning:

I have read the book…it isn’t all that helpful. I knew and agreed with everything in it… you know it too, we just don’t do it (or only do it for a day or two). I think the key is this…don’t have it so out in the open! Hide your scary bowl!! 🙂

See what I mean?  Can you blame me?  She was clearly making a joke about our actual piles of household clutter, but I really couldn’t pass up the spiritual metaphor there (I know, I know, it is a sickness!)  The part that I put in bold letters seems to me to be a life strategy that many of us employ.  Work with me here….

We all have those parts of ourselves that are not so pretty.  The unflattering, can’t-quite-get-it-all-together-for-company parts.  The places of doubt, insecurity, jealousy. and impatience.  The part of our spirits from which we operate when we say ugly things about our neighbors, yell at our kids, or ignore someone who is hurting because we are just too busy.  The part that compares his or herself to others who seem so much more in control of their life and then wonder what we are doing wrong.  Maybe it is the part of us that has big questions for God when everyone else seems so certain or even the part that battles a secret habit or addiction all alone.  All of this, all the emotional clutter that piles up in our lives that we don’t know what to do with or we don’t want to deal with, make up our big “scary bowl” of stuff that we often hide from others with our smiling faces and “Praise the Lords.”

While it should be just the opposite, the church can sometimes be the place where we most often feel the need to hide our “scary bowls.”  We tell ourselves that, clearly, if we had more faith and were a better Christian, we could rise above these types of mundane worries and struggles.  Or that it seems to be working for those other folks, so I am certainly not going to let on that it just isn’t that easy for me…it just seems so “unchristian” to have these doubts.  Yet, God calls us to carry one another’s burdens (Galations 6:2)and to build one another up(1 Thessalonians 5:11.)  If we always hide our “scary bowls” from each other, we are going to find building each other up to be a difficult task to accomplish.  I know I would personally consider it a privilege if you shared your “scary bowl” with me; may I be so bold as to ask the same from you?

Again, apologies to my sister for taking her innocent words and running with them in a totally different direction.  Thanks for letting me dump our proverbial “scary bowls” out on the counter.  FYI, I hide the scary bowl pictured below in the laundry room when company comes over.  If the scary bowl is out in plain view when you come over, you know I love you!

By the way, I think I should get credit for great self-restraint in letting the “Book that we all know what it says and we agree with it, but we just don’t do it or only for a day or two” part of Karen’s comment go unexamined.  Feel free to dig into that one on your own!