As my morning began to wind down, I looked over at the pile of trash that was sitting on my counter. My mornings are filled with making breakfast, lunch, and hopes of grabbing a cup of coffee. When I say a “pile of trash,” it is a collection of my morning activities – a paper plate stacked with apple peelings, strawberry tops, crust from the peanut butter sandwich, a cinnamon roll container, and a Keurig cup if one is able to be popped in. This particular morning, as I looked at the pile, it reminded me of the pile of trash that I collect in my spiritual life.
I once read a book that mentioned when we declutter our physical space we tend to find more room within for God. The physical sense of decluttering gives us peace, opening space within. Perhaps it’s just a moment to take a deep sigh of relief and sink into a chair for relaxation that everything is tidy and neat and STUFF is physically not lingering around.
I invite you to think about that for a moment – your house free of clutter and you sinking into a comfy chair, breathing in and out with great peace and relaxation.
Can you imagine decluttering your spiritual life? Now you may ask what in the world do you mean and how in the world do you do that? I’m going to reach out on a limb here with my partial, limited, mediocre understanding of Proverbs chapter 3. As I read and re-read this chapter, a few things jumped out that I think can help guide us in decluttering our spiritual life.
Disclaimer – my interpretation of the Word of God in Proverbs 3 is based on my experience in what God is moving within me.
In the first 6 verses of Proverbs 3, there are 3 directives regarding the heart. The first is to store up God’s commands within the heart. The second is to write loyalty and kindness deep within your heart. And the third is to trust in the Lord with all your heart. As I look at my own life, especially my spiritual life, I see these as direct actions to prepare our heart for something greater. I think if we keep God’s commandments close to the heart then we will act in righteousness, we will be loyal and show kindness to both God and man by our actions. Now, if we are following God’s commands and we are being loyal and kind despite what may be thrown at us, then we are most likely trusting God with our lives. Trust as I have seen revealed in my own life leads to discernment of God’s will. Which leads to the middle part of Proverbs 3.
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.”
Proverbs 3:7-26 speaks all about WISDOM and the person who gains wisdom. I think in order to gain wisdom we have to act on the first 3 directives mentioned in verses 1-6 because each leads to the other. In order to find wisdom, we have to trust God and not seek our own understanding. I absolutely love the description of wisdom in this chapter… “more profitable than silver… better than gold… more precious than rubies.” What is most important is that wisdom helps us in discernment and brings life to us. It refreshes our soul and will keep us safe.
You may say “ok – so what does this have to do with decluttering my spiritual life?”
Based on my own decluttering I’ve been very diligently working through, which sometimes seems like a never ending process, I am discovering that it is through much discernment that one can truly declutter. Discernment can be a difficult thing if we aren’t prepared within for it. This is why I think the first 6 verses of Proverbs 3 are important directives because they prepare us for finding wisdom so that we can discern the things in our lives that are cluttering our spirits.
When you begin to remove this clutter, dwindle that pile of trash that has built up through the years, life begins to sprout as the peace rests within. Then your heart can find a space in all the openness, get comfy and snuggle up in God’s loving embrace. As I sit here writing this blog, I just imagine this open space and God’s spirit filling it with all that He is in my life – my breathing begins to slow and my heart feels warmth.
What about you? How does this image feel to you? Imagine releasing the clutter life has stored within you, opening you up to receiving more of God’s loving embrace.