WEEK THREE: RENOVATION
Luke 12:15 (NRSV)
And he said to them, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.”
Jesus continues his theme in the verses following this one, telling us not to worry about our earthly possessions but to strive for his kingdom first. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (verse 34).”
There has been a lovely trend on the home renovation shows. People are choosing to minimize, to simplify their lives. Tiny homes are becoming popular. Books and blogs are being written about the joys of minimalism. More and more people are seeing the benefits of having fewer possessions and smaller homes. In spending less time and money on houses and possessions, they are finding more time to do the things that matter to them- time for activities, relationships, rest, and travel.
This is the time of year when many of us are ready for some spring cleaning. As we continue our personal renovation, how might we clean and cull our closets, drawers and shelves? Perhaps it is time to evaluate our possessions with an attitude of simplicity and minimalism. What benefits come when we reduce some of our possessions?
Mel Johnson, in her article on tinybuddha.com writes that decluttering leads to mindful purchasing, money saved from unnecessary and frivolous purchases, time saved by being able to find things more easily, space saved by owning less, quicker and easier cleaning and tidying, more freedom, and a happier outlook. “Surrounding yourself with items you love and displaying only the items most valuable to you will make you feel happier. Gone are the days of saving your favorite things for a special occasion. Every day is a special occasion now that I am only using the things I love and my life is happier as a result.”*
What things should we choose to keep? The things that bring us joy. The things that are significant. The things that are useful. The things that hold deeper meaning. That same article includes a quote from William Morris: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
What if we were to take that one step further and spring clean our souls? We all have the clutter and weight of heavy schedules, emotional baggage, and burdens of stress. Can we examine the things we have carried with us for so long, asking the same questions?
Is this worry useful?
Is this belief significant enough to keep?
Do I carry this emotion because of some deeper meaning?
Could another idea replace this old one?
Are these feelings worthwhile and uplifting?
Could someone else benefit from doing this task better than I?
Do these memories bring me joy?
May we courageously and rigorously begin to declutter our inner selves. Freeing our souls opens more space for the Spirit to move! May we keep the spirit of William Morris’ thought, and work to “Have nothing in our souls that we do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
Selfless, generous Jesus,
We can get so caught up in worldly goods, buying and searching for more. Your words to us are wise and needful. We forget that true joy comes only in you, and in living the way you would have us live. We also get caught up in carrying extra burdens and baggage in our souls. As we begin our personal spring cleaning, help us to reduce. Guide us to rid ourselves of excess, both around us and within us. May we open space in our lives and in our souls in order to BE. To BE with you. To BE with those we love. To BE present to the moment. To BE part of your intended life for all of us. Amen.