As I look around my house I see ‘things’. I see things that bring me comfort or are pleasing to the eye (trinkets, candles, pictures, and the like).  Although my house isn’t necessarily cluttered, I have over the years filled it up with things that are important and pleasing to me, and it is a place that I find comfort in. My family has made our house ‘a home’. Still, I go on cleaning and straightening, removing clutter that seems to build up. The calendar seems to be cluttered with appointments, practices, and the like.  Many times, the focus becomes the clutter itself and how to manage it each week, leaving little time for relaxation, engagement, or enjoyment of other things.

Spiritual Clutter

What happens when we fill our lives with clutter? Better yet, what happens when we focus on the clutter in our lives rather than more purposeful things?  Many times our distractions get in the way and prevent us from focusing on what is truly important – and we may see this in our jobs, in our relationships, in our families, and most importantly in our walk with God.

In the Bible, we see how this plays out:  Matthew 6:19-21 states, ‘Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.’

Are you focused on the temporary physical, emotional, spiritual clutter in your life? Is it bringing you farther away from the true treasure in Christ?  Are you filling up your days and nights with clutter that takes you away from your relationship with a God who longs to be in a relationship with you? 

What truly matters?  Relationship. Experience. Being present in the moment to experience the deepening relationship that we long for in Jesus.  As Nouwen’s prayer so eloquently states,

“Dear God,
I am so afraid to open my clenched fists!
Who will I be when I have nothing left to hold on to?
Who will I be when I stand before you with empty hands?
Please help me to gradually open my hands
and to discover that I am not what I own,
but what you want to give me.”
- Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Only Necessary Thing: Living a Prayerful Life

May we separate from our focus on ourselves and on our clutter; and things that will be here for a short while. May we begin to gradually develop our relationship with Jesus; being open and willing to learn and grow in Him; for everlasting is His love.

______ ___ ______

Lisa Sleezer, MA, LPC, is a Clinical Specialist at Timberline Knolls.

Author: Lisa Sleezer

Tags: Spiritual Growth, Mental Health, Clutter, Timberline Knolls

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