Time to de-clutter!!
I read a reflection I received that has become the focus of my musing this week … it talked about how much stuff we accumulate and the need we have to de-clutter from time to time.
These two images above often represent our lives day to day. Things can seem to be chaotic and seem so cluttered in our homes, schedules, our lives and in general in the world we live in.
I think of how people talk of “downsizing” and getting rid of the things that aren’t necessary; and especially the things that we’ve held on to for years that have been on a shelf in the basement and never once used.
There are things we can’t and shouldn’t get rid of in our effort to de-clutter. Whether it’s because of sentimental reasons or has some significance because where we got it or reminds us of a particular individual who gave it to us, those things have value if not to others to us.
However, it’s all the other”stuff” that we sometimes need to go through and purge. And I don’t know about you, but I feel so good when I’ve purged in preparation for moving. Someone else could be using that item; I don’t need it; I don’t use it; but maybe there’s someone for whom it will have value and be useful. I think places like “Chances Are” and “Value Village” and collections by various charities are wonderful ways to recycle our “stuff” instead of simply throwing it in the garbage.
I think that sometimes we need to de-clutter our lives as well and do so as a kind of spiritual discipline. What in our lives is causing us stress; are there routines that drain us of energy; are there expectations placed upon us that weigh upon us; are there difficulties in relationships that are tense and unresolved. When we are not at our best as God created us to be, what is the stuff of our lives that perhaps we need to let go of. And more importantly, what rhythms of our lives compromise our spirituality and the relationships God wants to have with us.
God created us to experience joy and to grow throughout our lives. If there are things that compromise the delight of daily living and which get in the way of growing fully throughout our lives, then maybe there’s something that we need to change or adapt so we can be the best we can be. And more importantly, what do we need to downsize in life so that we can be faithful to who we are as followers of Jesus and children of God.
Part of the rhythm of spiritual de-cluttering is evaluating what is important in our day to day lives that we value and that in fact enhance our joy and delight. We need to hold on to these aspects because they are integral to the goodness of life as we know it.
Discernment is what it’s all about … what is helpful in my experience of life … what is draining and stressful … what brings joy … what compromises my spirit. Once we ask these kind of questions, then we have to take the necessary actions to claim what is life giving and allow that to grow further in us as we live abundantly blessed by God each day of our lives.
I offer us this prayer for the de-cluttering of our souls …
God, open my mind and my heart.
Lift the barriers, unbind the strong grasp of my demands
when I want everything to go my way
God reach into my inner space
sweep out all my old clutter, enlarge my capacity to receive.
God, empty me of whatever impedes
the growth of our relationship.
Help me to recognize and accept your sources for my growth.
God, soften my resistance to emptying.
May I welcome each inner season
as a catalyst for my transformation.
God, deepen my trust in you.
Ease my doubts, fears and discouragements.
When I am feeling vulnerable,
remind me that you are my safe haven.
God, may I be ever more rooted in you.
Draw me into solitude.
Entice me into endless encounters
where I experience oneness with you.
O God open the ears of my heart,
May I hear your voice within the silence
as well as within the noise of my life.
Re-awaken me so that I can listen to you wholeheartedly.
God of goodness, I yearn to be open and receptive
to your generosity.
May I trust your presence amidst the cycle
of emptying and filling. Amen.
Remember, if you have a question, I encourage you to send it to me in an email and I will do my best to answer it either in a weekly update or in a sermon.
As always, my inbox is open, and so is my office door if you’d like to chat. I’m usually in my office most mornings Monday through Thursday unless otherwise announced due to a meeting. Stop by or make an appointment!
Take care and have a blessed day and week!