We pray “The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want…” Meanwhile, our hearts are packed with the trickling of wanting. How to make it stop?
It sounds so good. Getting rid of clutter, the excess. Stuff.
But, will having less make us want less?
Having less used to appear parochial to followers of Christ who abandon all to serve God.
Now, having less is going mainstream.
Spurned by a poor economy, people are riding the growing wave of goal-oriented minimalists. It’s a head turning cultural phenomenon, shedding as much as possible. People are re-evaluating what makes them happy.
We are asking,What is tying me down and how can I be free from it?
The trend to live simply is a growing expression of relieving that frustration.
Just recently, I watched a video clip featuring the tiniest 96 square foot house I’d ever seen, built by Jay Shafer. He’s now making a living building these gum drop residences. People are casting aside everything to strip down to the bare essentials.
Then, there’s a website that’s cultivated a growing number of faithful followers: The 100 Thing Challenge. One couple who made changes inspired by this challenge was featured in The New York Times article last week. The young couple gave up their treadmill life of spending. They quit their jobs, relocated into a 400 square foot apartment, devoting their lives to the pursuit of meaningful experiences rather than possessions.
It got me thinking.
These people were willing to radically change to a simpler life because of happiness.
What radical changes am I willing to simplify… to pursue God?
This week, we’ve been discussing the spiritual topic of waiting and how God uses the in-between time to comprise the majority of our faith walk.
The question of how to fill the lull period has been pressing on my mind. How can I stay untangled from unfulfilled desires?
Can letting go of clutter somehow be the catalyst I need?
The answer came inspired by way of blogger Stephanie, The Catholic Theoress. In her provocative post about the role of possessions, she was reminded of the contemplative life of prayer by Walter Burghardt.
“One of the pieces of advice Burghardt gives is:
Fourth, learn to let go, to not possess, to let experiences and things be ephemeral.
Most of us are conditioned when we see something beautiful–a sunset, a flower, a cute puppy, or our own children–to take a picture.
The contemplative life savors the moment, but lets it pass.”
For those of us who walk by faith, even experiences were never meant to fulfill us.
No, not even the ones we want so badly.
It became plain and simple to me. I can get so caught up trying to capture life, I miss the moments to simply live life with Jesus.
If we are to live godly lives, we must remember Jesus.
Jesus is the One we want to possess.
He is the only reason why we would let go of anything.
If we were to stop long enough to really want Him, He would be the prize we’d dump everything for. Just to savor His touch and His words.
Don’t get me wrong, my blog bio confesses I’m a recovering pack rat. Seeing a cleared counter and floor space can be euphoric.
But, I’m reminded —
Decluttering possessions to pursue happiness is a far cry from godliness.
Decluttering our priorities, so that God can possess us in the Word and in prayer? Irrevocably… Life… Changing.
Will having less make us happy? Maybe. For the moment.
Will learning to let go — to “let it pass” — fill us with Jesus? Yes.
Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness;
For bodily discipline is only of little profit,
but godliness is profitable for all things,
since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.
What radical changes have you made to simply life — in order to pursue Jesus?
Share your thoughts.
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