As the year ends, we tend to have some habits. One would be making New Year’s resolutions. Another is trying to jump, having that superstitious belief that one would grow tall by jumping on the New Year’s eve. Some would get a lot of coins and try to shake, inviting prosperity to come upon the new year. And some have the habits of ‘decluttering.’
Decluttering means trying to remove unnecessary items from an untidy or overcrowded place. Maybe you have acquired different possessions, made numerous computer files or documents throughout the year and you’re trying to keep all those valuable things or files to be used on the following year and onwards and separating those unnecessary or worthless possessions or files…maybe to give them away, or put them into garbage or delete them.
Decluttering also means trying to get rid of the mess, disorder, and complications, and trying to simplify life. It could be in the form of organizing priorities and commitments in life. Maybe throughout this year, you have a very busy year, and you didn’t know that you haven’t spent more time with yourself or your family. Decluttering maybe trying to figure out what are those schedules that ate most of your time and attention, and not to repeat them again, and organizing well your schedules so not to miss or those important and valuable events in your life, and so that you can spend most of your valuable time with your loved ones.
I think most of us know how to declutter our material possessions, documents, files, time and priorities, maybe not that perfect but somehow kept on working on and going there. But, in terms of our spiritual lives, have we thought also of doing ‘spiritual decluttering’? Did we have overcrowded our spiritual space with a lot of worthless things: busy times, fears, worries and anxieties, addictions in substances or computer games, engrossed with entertainment, sports and celebrities, rather than having more space and time with God, the most important person in our life?
Paul in his sermon to the Lystrans in Acts 14: 15-17:
“We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them. 16 In the past, He let all nations go their own way. 17 Yet He has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; He provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”
We try to ride in the values that the world offers, rather than what God can offer to us. We know and believe that God can offer us the best things in the world, but the sad part is that often times we choose the way of the world, rather than God’s ways. We can’t help but fall to the trap to temptations of the evil one. There are really things, which are worthless in the eyes of God, which we keep holding on. We need to declutter our spiritual lives. We need to remove all these unnecessary things that can be set aside so that God can fill our lives completely.
A Personal Project: List down your top 3 worthless things you did that overcrowded your spiritual space. It might be an addiction to something, busy work, thorny relationship, fears or uncertainties of the future, or idleness. List down the top 3 of God’s kindnesses provided to you this past year. It might be good health, protection from severe danger or calamity, daily provisions, or even special events like birthdays, anniversaries or special celebrations.
Forget those worthless things and focus on God, thanking and worshiping Him for His kindness and goodness to you.