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Messy Room Story

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

February 17, 1998



It's hard to believe - my home is pretty tidy now. But yes, I have a messy room story to tell.

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The story starts on a Wednesday night. Every Wednesday night in Christian Science churches around the world, people get together to sing hymns and hear readings from the Bible and from the textbook of Christian Science, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," by Mary Baker Eddy. Also, members of the congregation share healings that have come to them through prayer.

One week at one of these meetings, a boy about 10 years old stood up to give a testimony. He said he was grateful that he'd had a healing of having a messy room. He said that the state of his room had gotten so bad that when he tried to clean it he felt extremely depressed. He had, however, prayed to God to know where to start and what to do. Then, instead of being overwhelmed, he was able, bit by bit, to clean up that room.

I was inspired. I went home to my apartment, looked around, and realized that I also needed a healing of having a messy room (only in my case it was several rooms). I sorted everything into piles - laundry, dishes, newspapers, magazines, correspondence. And as I worked, I began to see a need for more than just a cleaner apartment.

Many layers of mental clutter had to be sorted through. First, there was self-condemnation: "How could you let this get so messy?" Then, self-defensiveness: "I have a right to keep my place untidy if I want to." And self-defeat: "You'll never get through this. Why not give up now?"

Was I a messy, lazy person? I wondered if maybe being messy was part of my individual expression. Maybe creative people couldn't be organized. As I worked on, though, I prayed. I had earlier come to learn that I had the power from God to rid myself of any thought that wasn't constructive. I saw now that those self-defeating thoughts were not from God. They did not convey the truth about me. They were what needed removing.

The cleaner my apartment became, the more I realized how much I appreciated having a sense of order. I saw that I needed to not let things pile up. This is where praying really helped. I didn't pray to God to make me a different or better person. Or even a tidy person. I prayed to have a clearer vision that I was His creation, His spiritual expression. A hymn I like says: "The heavens declare the glory/ Of Him who made all things .... In beauty, grandeur, order,/ His handiwork is shown" ("Christian Science Hymnal," No. 329). I saw I was God's handiwork!

God doesn't have a messy room in His house - His consciousness; God's entire universe of thought and expression is supremely orderly. Everything has a place and a purpose. This helped me to realize that tidy living isn't just a lifestyle choice, but is an indication of how much we understand the way God loves us.

Also, a lack of order and piles of things around the house can actually make us begin to feel buried. Sloppiness may even make us feel out of sorts and depressed.

The Bible tells about a time when Christ Jesus helped a man who lived "among the tombs" - in the graveyard (see Luke 8:26-39). This man was considered by the people in the town to be pretty messed up - with demons. He wouldn't wear clothing. And when he saw Jesus, he began to yell at him to leave him alone.

But Jesus didn't try to make that man feel ashamed or to condemn him. Jesus' compassion - his ability to love the man as God loved him - healed him quickly. When the townspeople came to see what was happening, the deranged man had clothing on, was behaving normally, and was listening to Jesus.

It's not a stretch to relate this situation to the subject at hand. If you want to tackle a messy room, or a messy life, you don't need to feel the situation is hopeless. You have all the guidance and help you need by turning to God and knowing His universe is filled with "beauty, grandeur, order." And you can prove it by expressing these qualities, for they are yours as God's loved child.

You can find in-depth articles on Christian Science in a monthly magazine, The Christian Science Journal.