Dear Friends in Christ,
As I settle into my new house in northern Virginia, I am surrounded by cardboard boxes. Each week my wife and I feel like we’re almost done, and then somehow, we discover even more boxes that need unpacking. I am growing nostalgic for the days in college when all my belongings fit into a small sedan. We seem to have accumulated so much stuff, and I can’t help but wonder if it is all necessary. What is all this stuff accomplishing?
Jesus almost certainly did not have a full rainbow assortment of table linens, and I doubt he kept five hundred books on hand and sorted by the Dewey decimal system (yes, my house has a fully catalogued and labeled home library!). After all, Jesus teaches us:
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21, NRSVUE).
And so, I find myself doing some summer cleaning; I’m thinking carefully about which items are helping me to be prepared and serve God and which ones are distracting me, holding me back. Another way to frame this decluttering is through the question: Does this item connect me to loving God, loving my neighbor, and/or loving myself?
Art supplies, bread maker, and puzzles – Yes! Keep! Bathroom scales – Nope! Goodbye! Candles and incense to help me slow down and reflect – Keep! Clothes that I haven’t worn in a year – Goodbye!
As we prepare for another school year and as your calendars fill up, God equips us to discern how we structure our spaces and our time. Ask yourself: does this item/event/commitment help connect me to loving God, loving my neighbor, and/or loving myself? And if not, can I let it go?
Friends, you deserve to prioritize yourself and your relationship to God, especially when time feels limited. Whether you are in the process of decluttering your house, your calendar, or your mind, let love lead the way.
Yours in Christ,