My dear aged mother-in-law complains that her house is cramped, musty, dark and cold.
It is all those things.
However, it seems small because she has far too much furniture in the house: you literally have to crab your way down the passage and into the rooms.
Each room is stuffed almost to the ceiling with all manner of stuff that is never used.
The spare room, supposedly for guests, has no room for humans: it is too full of other items.
And there are enough ornaments, pictures, knickknacks of every description, to sink an ocean liner.
But, according to her, nothing must be removed.
The house is dark, cold and musty, says she.
Yes. It is.
But that will happen if you never open a curtain or window
Never allow the breeze or the sun in.
According to my MIL, if she leaves windows opens, "geitjies" (gheckos) will come in and suck her to death.
(I just threw that in as an extra - it has nothing to do with my point - which I am getting to, in case you were wondering.)
So here is the long awaited point.
The things she chafes against don't have to be that way
And would be very easy to change.
It is all in her hands - not difficult, nor beyond her in any way.
The very things she wants so badly: space, light, warmth and freshness, are within her grasp.
But somehow that truth eludes her, even when we tell her clearly:
"Mom, if you open the windows . . .
"Mom if you get rid of some of this bulky furniture . . .
"Mom if you simplify by packing some of the ornaments . . . . "
But she fiercely resists everything that would be the very answer to her wishes
and hopes that everything will magically change just because she doesn't like it as it is.
Could I also be like that?
I ask myself.
Is this a scenario to learn from?
I hold the word of God in my hands: I believe what it says is true
It talks of many things that my heart desires, how things could be.
It says God has given us all in His Son, Jesus Christ
So the spiritual treasure I long for has already been provided.
The question is: are my curtains are drawn and my windows shut?
Am I shutting out the very Light I need? The freshness? The space?
Is there clutter in my mind drowning out the clarity I want?
Sometimes the questions are as valuable as the answers . . .