The holiday Monday after ANZAC Day saw most of the family involved in a vigorous session of de-cluttering. The modestly proportioned garage at the manse was the primary focus, but I also took advantage of the prevailing mood to tidy the tools on the bench in a corner of the shed I have claimed.
The garage part went really well, with the departure of some large items to the op-shop and a culling of papers and old school books. Andrea discovered some old letters from friends from the early 1990s that were entertaining for all, and have some more mileage in them for when she gets together with those actual friends. we found some kid creations from years ago, which provided more hilarity.
I did a kind of inventory of small tools deposited around the place. I tend to buy useful looking screwdrivers and pliers and stuff from second hand shops, because they are handy. It seems I've got a bit carried away in that department. If you need to borrow some duck-nose pliers I'm your guy. De-cluttering provides a bit of mental clarity as well. It seems the physical tidying triggers a parallel brain clear out.
We carry too many things. Our culture pushes us to accumulate on an ongoing basis. We need to guard against this in the physical life, but also in the spirit life, the soul life. Sometimes less can be more. I'm learning this in my own early morning times when I sit with a small reading or two in the quiet. My prayers have less words than they did, but that's OK I think. God seems fine with it.
Eugene Peterson paraphrased the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:6 this way in The Message:
“Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace."
Let's take that to heart and de-clutter our spiritual lives. Tune out the babble and ask God for the good stuff. Sometimes silence is better than words.