“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything.
1 Corinthians 6:12
We used these two boxes for years: one was for schoolwork to be graded, one was for work already graded and ready to be filed.
I’ve thrown both boxes away. And emptied the garbage can. Again.
I’m cleaning out.
Since I’m no longer homeschooling—for the first time in almost 20 years—I’m dedicating this no-longer-schooling-year to getting rid of clutter. To letting go of things unneeded. To clearing out space from the past to make room for the future.
But it’s hard. Oh, so hard.
I like to hold on. To what’s comfortable and safe and known. But when it no longer serves me, it turns into clutter.
And clutter never helps; it hurts. It intrudes into my breathing space, stifling deep lungfuls of fresh air. Clutter kills creativity. It complicates. It tethers.
Who needs that?
Do I really need to keep yesterday’s maggot-infested manna?
Think I might use it later?
Afraid I can’t find it somewhere else if I do want it?
Or can I let go of what I no longer need or use so someone else who needs it can use it? And I can be free.
What clutter do I need to hand over?
Physically, if I haven’t used it in a year, two years, three, let it go.
- Books I’ll never read twice
- Jackets I haven’t worn in forever (or ever?)
- Documents that have outlived their purpose
- Purses given to me that aren’t me
But what about spiritual clutter? Don’t I have that too? If it has too many holes or doesn’t match truth or never fits what God’s called me to do, let it go.
- Traditions that miss (and perhaps even mask?) the target
- Doctrines not founded on God’s eternal truths
- Guilt, worries, sins that no longer bind me
- Rules that are man-made instead of God-commanded
God wants me to live free of spiritual clutter, too. To follow his Son with no baggage. To breathe deeply of his Spirit.
I don’t have to hoard the goods. God owns the storehouse, and he’s never stingy. His provisions overflow and are available on an as-needed basis.
He gives freely to open and empty hands, refilling them with relevant things, new things, now things.
I think he’s okay with me hanging on to a few homeschooling books (okay, several) that carry sentimental memories. Or ones I’ll read together with my future grandkids. Or ones I just enjoy reading myself now.
But the clutter needs to keep leaving me.
Because God is plenty in my present.
And I want no clutter from my past hindering my walk with him in our future.
Nothing is as wonderful as knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have given up everything else and count it all as garbage. All I want is Christ and to know that I belong to him. . . .
Philippians 3:8-9 (CEV)
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I’m working hard to clean out bookshelves.
What space do you need to clean up?