Isn’t it amazing how quickly clutter piles up?
Every time I stand in front of an overcrowded, unorganized closet, I wonder how it got this way. AGAIN. Stuff piling up and falling into chaos seems to be a force of nature. Each time I clean, clear, and tidy up, I hope it will stay that way. But it never does. Instead, I have to be intentional about keeping things pared down and in order.
What’s true for my closets is true for my life.
It’s easy – almost effortless – to let life get overcrowded and cluttered, isn’t it? When we don’t pay attention, things pile up. And before we realize it, our time, our heads, and our hearts are crammed full, leaving little or no room for the next new thing God has for us.
With Easter and springtime reminding us of new life and fresh starts, it’s a good time to remember that God offers us a different way to live. An uncluttered life filled with simplicity and lots of free space. With more room for Him and for the things that matter most.
When we clear away the clutter, God has more room to move in our lives.
When my schedule gets really out of hand, putting things right again can feel overwhelming. I don’t always know how best to tackle the job of opening up space and clearing some room for the new and good things God has for me. But I’ve found it helps to sort things into three piles: put away, give away, and throw away.
There are so many good things in life we can say “yes” to. Our relationships, church, work, hobbies and interests can all bring us joy and satisfaction. But sometimes these things get jumbled up with a lot of other things. They get crammed into spaces where they don’t belong or that make them difficult for us to fully enjoy. Keeping the good things in life in their proper place takes effort and attention. It means we make our relationship with God and our relationships with others a priority. We don’t let work overflow into the time we need for rest or exercise. And we’re intentional about setting boundaries with others, so their emotional needs don’t crowd out our own.
All of us are holding on to things “just in case.” Things we aren’t using right now, but who knows, right? Like the fully kitted out archery set my 20 year-old son commanded to claim the junior national title when he was nine. How can I give that away? So it sits on a shelf collecting dust in my garage. But somewhere is a young person who could start shooting those arrows again and give that bow a second life. And it’s not just material items I’m prone to hoard for myself. It could also be my time, energy, or experience. Anything that I’m holding on to just in case I might need it more than someone else. What could we give away that might benefit others and open up more room for God in our lives?
There are things taking up space in my life and yours that are no longer useful to us or anyone else. Things that simply need to go in the trash. Maybe it’s a hurt we’ve been holding on to. Or an unhealthy habit or routine. Or it might be an actual pile of junk growing in the garage (like mine!) Let’s ask God to show us the broken, torn, stained, and hopelessly out of date things we’ve allowed to take up space for too long. And then to help us toss them out. Once they’re gone, we’ll have less stuff to distract us, and more peace in our lives. The peace that comes from letting go and living more simply. With a heart that’s open to what God has next.
God wants us to make space for him.
Space for more of His goodness and the next new thing He wants us to have. With His help, we can put the good things back their proper places. Give away the things we have in excess or no longer need. And throw out the things that simply must go. God is inviting us to make room in our hearts for Him and the miracle of new life that only He brings. The miracle that is the story of Easter.
We will inevitably be tempted to fill up the empty spaces with new things. That’s just the reality of life. But maybe this year, as we spring clean and de-clutter and clear space for our Lord, as we prepare to celebrate His resurrection, we can ask God to show us what space he wants us to clear away so He can enter in. And to help us hold it open for Easter and beyond.
How will you make more room for the Easter story in your life?