Preparations have begun in our home for Thanksgiving Day. Two weeks ago, Becky had us casting out, casting down, and casting off anything that she didn’t think was necessary. Purging my study has been stressful. I want to scan every sheet of paper, I might need it, every receipt, I might need it, articles from periodicals, I might need them. Getting rid of my clutter is difficult, until I adopted her fierce resolve to dump it if it sits in a pile. Whew! My own personal Marie Kondo! Does it bring me joy? No, but, but I might need it! As a man in our congregation says, “Kill the no but bird!”
Now that the clutter is diminished, (I hid some, don’t judge me), it is a much more productive place to read, study, write, return calls and drink coffee! The books,the photographs of our family, gifts the children gave me when they were small, the stereo speakers, and a few things I’ve collected over the years organized neatly. The clutter is greatly diminished. Soon all the clutter will be gone! I’m on a mission now.
At times, our inner life can be like that. Our minds become cluttered with useless details, worries, concerns, bills, the fights between politicians, and those things that we fear happening in the future.
What clutters your mind? You may be the neatest most organized person in the world. You may have adopted a lifestyle that would put Marie Kondo to shame. Perhaps your a minimalist that has reduced all of your worldly possessions to just 100 items. Has it brought you closer to God? Have you experienced the peace that Jesus gives that passes understanding? Are you ready for the wonderful “holy day” when Christ returns or calls you home?
Do you need to take some time and de-clutter your mind? To cast off those worries, cares, and issues that rob you of peace. Besides eating healthy, exercise, rest and building healthy relationships let me offer a few thoughts that help me.
1. Pray with thanksgiving about everything. “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace which exceeds anything we can understand.” Philippians 4:6-7a
2. Casting all of your care upon the Lord for he cares for you. “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7
3. Focus on building your faith through thinking deeply about God’s Word. “I cried out, “I am slipping!” but your unfailing love, O LORD, supported me. When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.” Psalm 94:18-19
4. Have faith in God. He loves you and will care for you. “Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? … And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?” Matthew 6:27,30
5. Be content. Guard against envy. “Truly God is good to Israel, to those whose hearts are pure. But as for me, I almost lost my footing. My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone. For I envied the proud when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness.” Psalm 73:1-3
6. Rely on God’s strength! I have to guard against relying upon myself to solve all of my problems. Pride will lead you to a self reliant life rather than a God reliant life. “I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13
7. Focus on eternity. Heavenly minded people set great goals, do great things, and use their gifts to bless others. “Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand.  Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.” Colossians 3:1-2