The day after Christmas, I cleaned.
It was going to be a quiet day, and I planned to do the regular cleaning anyway, but when I thought about my schedule in the next week, I decided it made the most sense to put away all the Christmas decorations as I cleaned.
I knew it wouldn’t take long. I hadn’t done a ton of decorating before Christmas. Even so, I was surprised at how quickly it went. I put the special ornaments back into their boxes, wound up strings of lights, gathered up all the miscellaneous decorations, and packed it all away in the closet. I cleaned the house and was done with everything before noon.
I sat down and looked around at the space-void-of Christmas and realized putting Christmas away is a lot faster than setting it all up.
It’s a lot like our faith.
Building faith takes effort and time. We question, wrestle, explore, and construct. But we put it away with much less effort and intention. Maybe it’s just because we get bored or tired and decide to pack it in without much thought. We can sort later or just toss things aside. Then we give it all very little thought until we need it again.
But we do need it. Now. We can pack up and pack in our faith because we’re worn out and just don’t want to deal with it anymore, because it gets too hard, because we don’t find it as easy now that we’re beyond the baby stage. Deconstructing seems a lot easier than constructing, and perhaps that’s why we’re ready to do it so willingly. It seems to make sense because it seems easy. But easy isn’t often faith-building. Become spiritually mature takes effort, attention, and intentionality.
Sure, packing is important, but only as it’s accompanied by sorting, cleaning, prioritizing, and discerning.