Sunday, September 10, 2017

The More of Less

On my way to take Abbey to a birthday party yesterday, we came to a 4-way stop.  Above it was a blinking red light to alert drivers of the intersection.  Lost in thought and fighting a headache, I sat staring at that red light for a full five seconds, waiting for it to turn green so I could proceed through the intersection. 

Abbey and I got a good laugh out of it and we moved on down the road, but it sure got me to thinking about how distracted I've been lately.  Life is incredulously busy and my brain can hardly handle it all.  The threat of clutter--both physical and spiritual-- is how it keeps our discipleship from being all it can be.  I am quite sure I never fully grasped the concept when I was younger, but boy, do I ever now! 

Less is more! When my children were young, I discovered they would play together and much more happily in a room that was straightened up.  So if their playroom became overwhelmed with toys and a mess, they would move into the areas of the home which were clean and start making a mess playing there. Once their rooms were tidied up again, they would happily play in their own spaces again.  I have observed it over and over, with all the kids who have come into my home--their brains need organization and clutter-free zones, even if they don't understand the "why" of it all.  

Adults are the same way.  We also need organized, uncluttered spaces in our lives. We need quiet time when all we think about are the praises and prayers on our hearts.  We need enough space to be able to voice them earnestly and sincerely to our Lord, who is always eager to listen.  

An actual drawing of my brain. 

In a cluttered mind, prayers can become trite, short, and nothing less than duty.  You see a post on Facebook that requests prayer covering and you type "Praying" or the hands-folded-in-prayer emoji and you move on through your newsfeed, hardly giving it another thought.  Yep. I'm guilty, too.  Superficiality is the curse of our age.  

God desires so much more for us, for our hearts.  He knows that a simpler life means a much more peaceful life.  And please know that while you may want to give away a lot of your possessions (which I recommend), the focus should not be on getting rid of what we have, but rather upon cultivating the disposition of "a life of joyful unconcern for possessions" (Richard J. Foster).

"Deep calls to deep" as the Psalmist penned, and we can live a more spiritually-fulfilling life if we take time to focus on the important things each day.  The work is not our own, but rather of the Lord.'s  He will change our focus if we are willing to let Him have control of our cluttered minds and hearts.  

Find that space, learn to say 'no' to the unimportant, get up five minutes earlier, give away the clothes you've not worn in years, simplify your life.  You won't regret it.  

"If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus." Philipians 4:7

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