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The Bottom of the Freezer

1005467_10151530116017163_174534350_nThis weekend I took my day off. I slept in, jogged the dogs, watched the first day of Premier League football, did some garden tending and food preservation, and I cleaned out the freezer.

Not the fridge freezer – the big chest freezer. The bottomless pit. The point of no return.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been working my way through the food that’s been in there, and have been sharing some with friends, and with only a few packages left, I cleaned out the beast. Defrosted it, washed its walls, everything. It was almost like new again!

So – that’s been done, now I’m ready to start filling it again. Which is good – I was blessed with significant food gifts at church today, and my garden is growing abundantly, and harvest is almost here. So I’ll need somewhere to put it all!

As I was cleaning the freezer, I was thinking of the whole process as a metaphor. When we’re putting away our food in the freezer, we’re putting good stuff in there – we wouldn’t intentionally keep something we don’t like or didn’t intend to use. Yet with time, more and more food piles up and some of it falls to the bottom and it gets forgotten, or eventually wasted. There is a limit to how much we can put in the freezer – both in terms of space and in terms of our capacity to use what’s in there. Some times there’s so much stuff in there that we can’t access what we might want, or we can’t even remember if it’s still hiding in the depths. Our freezers also show us how we categorise things; sometimes starting out organized but falling into chaos and disarray, sometimes staying neatly compartmentalized.

So how we use our freezers can show us a bit about how we live our lives…

We often store a lot of good stuff, memories and stories and intentions. It’s all good stuff, but unless we’re using it and applying lessons learned to our lives, it’s just sitting there taking up space. We’re meant to grow and develop and learn, but we need to use that good stuff that we’ve got. If our spirituality becomes jammed into our live with everything else, it can fall to the bottom (as it were) and be forgotten – which will not do us any good.

Our lives are also restrictive in just how much we can do, and so we are challenged to make our priorities. If we jam our lives full with so many activities where we do not focus on our spirituality, then when the time comes for us to try and tap into our spiritual selves, we won’t have much to find. We’re challenged to always have some focus on the spiritual component of our lives, and to allow God space and time to enter into our lives.

Our spiritual development may have been extensive in the past, but has been in disuse – hiding in somewhere with the rest of our lives – that we don’t know where to find it, or how much is there, or even how to use it if/when we do find it: just like those forgotten treats in the freezer.

And our lives are sometimes very organized, at other times they are chaotic. If we require organization, are we being flexible enough for unforeseen experiences in which the Spirit may move us? If we are in constant disarray, would we even know if the Spirit was calling us through the melee of everything else? Is our emphasis on Spiritual nourishment a high enough priority for us to keep it separately organized, like sitting in the top of a freezer basket?

And, most of all, are we using our Spiritual freezer for it’s best purpose –as a tool to preserve something nourishing and positive until we’re ready to use it, but aware that it must be used if we are going to create space for the next new development.

I don’t know if I have all the answers for myself, but I pray that my capacity for spiritual growth will be as prepared as my freezer is during this season of abundance.

About Laura Marie Piotrowicz

I'm a high-energy priest, now serving in the Diocese of Niagara, catching glimpses of the kingdom in daily life. I consider church to be a verb, and I'm passionate about prayer, eco-theology, and social justice. I love travel, reading, canoeing, camping, gardening and cooking, playing with my dogs, and drinking good coffee.
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