"Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’" ~ Matthew 6:31
After the post from two weeks ago on Clearing the Decks, in the ways of wordplay, I couldn't help but turn my thoughts to clearing the clutter in our lives.
In the place referred to as the "Western World" we are prone to accumulation of things. (Though, as a sidenote, one might be inclined to ask, west of what on this spectacular sphere spinning through space? But, that's a whole other conversation.)
There's a fine line to walk here, because we are told throughout scripture to be prepared. Whether in worldly terms that means having an extra meal or two in dried goods in the pantry, just in case; or a full-on prepper bunker, I say God bless you, only You can discern His will for you in this life.
No matter which stop on the earthly preparedness spectrum you feel called to, we do need to be responsible with both our resources and our physical space.
When there's a place for everything and everything in its place, it cannot be denied, we feel empowered. Psychological studies have shown that clean and clear and tidy lend themselves to feeling energized, more creative, greater peace, greater confidence and sense of capacity as well as capability to get things done, not to mention a higher sense of value for the items you do choose to surround yourself with, whether practical, sentimental, or aesthetic.
Order in our physical space makes us feel more competent, equipped, emboldened, tranquil, and gives us an access to a greater sense of vitality, feeling joyful, as well as a perception of being able to influence the world around you and some semblance of control in this crazy world.
Why would anyone want those things?! (She asks with more than a touch of the facetious.)
There is a counter-argument having to do with clutter possibly being linked to greater creativity; but while Einstein may or may not have had a messy desk, much of the research indicates that a clear, clean, and ordered space allows for easier access to flow states and productivity. Creative endeavors included.
Too much stuff and clutter lead to stress. (Where did I put that utility bill?!)
In the presence of clutter, cognitive load that could be put to far better use elsewhere is hijacked by the four loads of laundry that backed up while the washing machine was out of commission or half-completed projects lying here, there, and everywhere.
One study out of Greece even suggests that "a chronically cluttered home can lead to a constant low-grade fight or flight response..."
All of that said, we do need to be prayerful and discerning, to be good stewards of what we've been given and not wasteful.
There's a tension there. Like I said, it's a fine line to walk.
I hesitate to call on Matthew 6 in this conversation... "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal..." because I think it's often taken to an extreme. Not everyone is called to live the impoverished life. Many are called to be rulers in the marketplace or workplace; honoring, being present, and employing their various forms of resources wisely.
No matter what, we must always remember that our greatest treasure is eternal, and when it comes to earthly matters, we must pray, seek wisdom and discernment, and follow the dictates of Scripture when it comes to the wealth and belongings with which we are entrusted.
Then, of course, there's the intangible emotional and mental baggage/clutter we carry, but that's a conversation for another time.
Where might one make a start?
We all likely have somewhere that needs attention. The inbox. The hard drive. The desk. The junk drawer. The car. The closet. The shoe rack. The garage. The play room.
If this conversation is even a smidge convicting, please don't put pressure on yourself to get it all done here and now.
I was speaking with a friend recently and we decided to create an accountability partnership she dubbed, "Minus One."
In other words, each day, we deal with at least one thing. Throw it out, give it away, you call it, but each day one thing goes. You may find yourself on a roll and it's okay to roll with it, but not so much that you burn yourself out for the next day's "one." Be sure to keep some gas in the tank.
Okay, you gorgeous child of God. You're amazing! And, with Him, you've got this.
Thank you for being here!! I appreciate you.
Thank You for helping us to have wisdom and discernment with the resources you've given us.
Thank You for helping us to steward well the territory over which we rule.
If there are things (physical, digital, emotional, mental, etc.) that You would have us prune in our lives, thank You for guiding us in the right direction if we're in need of an external assist. Or, thank You for calling us out such that the will to want to obey kicks in and we get down to business, in partnership with You.
Thank You for helping us to become the very best children of God we can be, as You created us to be.
Thank You for loving us this much.
These things we pray in the name of Your Son, Yeshua,
"Look, I am with you, and I will watch over you wherever you go..." ~ Genesis 28:15a
"I am not saying this out of need, for I have learned to be content regardless of my circumstances. I know how to live humbly, and I know how to abound. I am accustomed to any and every situation—to being filled and being hungry, to having plenty and having need." ~ Philippians 4:11-12
"The fear of the LORD leads to life, that one may rest content, without visitation from harm." ~ Proverbs 19:23
"...Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him." ~ Matthew 6:8
May the Good Lord bless you and keep you, friends... always, in all ways. Amen.
Bonus song of praise... ♥ Like a child!
Sharables! ...and, hey, thanks for sharing. ♥
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