This past week, the season of Lent began. Throughout the years, many Christians have used the forty-day period to couple a physical activity with a spiritual discipline. So, in that spirit, let’s discuss the act of de-cluttering a physical space while at the same time de-cluttering one’s mind. According to Merriam-Webster…”to Clutter” is to fill or cover with scattered or disordered things that impede movement or reduce effectiveness. In addition to this, “Clutter” is a crowded or confused mass or collection. Clutter is not always clearly defined trash, clutter can be and is anything that inhibits or distracts us from getting things done or, more importantly remaining focused on the main thing.
Recently, I heard about an interesting Lenten practice of removing one bag of “stuff” from one’s home each day. The bag might be filled with items to donate or items to discard. As you imagine, a lot of good comes from this action. By donating items, we share what God has given us. By throwing away other items, we create a more efficient space.
Taking this to heart, de-cluttering a room – or rooms in my home takes action. There is a process and a discipline necessary for transformation to take place. An important starting point is to remove the items such that you can examine them and know what you have. Then we begin to deal with the stuff – Taking stalk of the situation in the rooms: we sort, we prioritize, we file discard, and discard. But, we also maintain for health. Often, this is more helpful with a friend who is more objective.
Just as the rooms of our homes can become cluttered with the stuff of life -so too can our souls. Our hearts can get cluttered with worry and concern etc -blocking our perspective and clogging our relationship with God. Psalm 139 could be entitled the “de-cluttering Psalm.” It is an invitation that we can extend to God to help us de-clutter. The last two verses say this: 23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” The Psalmist is inviting to search him and know accompany him into the various rooms of his life…and remove the things that clutter a more vibrant relationship.
So, what are things that are cluttering your relationship with God? What do you and God need to do together, such that you can have a more meaningful relationship? What in your life might God be showing you that you need discard to help you grow?
I urge you, during this Lenten time and beyond, to walk with God and allow Him into the rooms of your soul.