My wife and I live in a double-wide manufactured home with seven children. It is somewhat crowded. With having that many living there, it is easy to accumulate a lot of things.
We have eight children total, with one now off and married. The youngest is only three years old. With that it means we have a lot of stuff for everyone of all the ages. Over the years we have gained more clothing. We hold onto the clothing to pass down the line of younger siblings.
The number of books seems to be extreme, with several large bookshelves full of books. There are books for schooling, since we homeschool. These cover many different subjects and different types of curriculum. There are also books just for reading. Several whole series of books for younger children and some for older children to read. Along with all those books, I have my own books I have accumulated from bible college and ministry.
The amount of tows seems to never end. Toys for all the different ages. Many of which were passed down over the years to younger ones. Even many “broken” toys are held on to, because a child does not want to part with them. New toys keep coming in every birthday and Christmas time.
I cannot count the number of movies that we own, both VHS and DVD! It is in the hundreds. This number is very high, because we do not subscribe to any television channels, cable or satellite. Again, these movies cover a broad range from educational, inspirational, and just good family movies or television show series.
With all of this stuff, it can get very cluttered very easy. It is difficult to find the space needed to have a place for everything.
Right now my wife and I are in the process of trying to declutter some of that stuff. It is a difficult process to do. Some of those things hold precious memories. Other things we hold on to because we might need them again someday, this is especially true with clothing and movies. Today the children watch one set of movies, but in a few months, suddenly they “discover” some other set of movies and watch them over and over again for several weeks, before moving on to a new set.
Then the challenge of what to do with all the stuff we decide to get rid of. Do we try to sell it? That is not like us, we would rather give it away. Or do we donate it? Then come the question of where to donate the stuff. Then when and how do we get the stuff to the donation location. It creates a lot of challenges.
Since there are so many challenges to getting rid of the extra stuff, it is easy to just put it aside and try to ignore it. We will do it some day, a day that does not seem to come. Or we will do a little, then get overwhelmed and stop.
As we are in the process of doing this, I have noticed that life is like that in the same way. Our lives can become cluttered with old, no longer useful things. Or our life can be cluttered with things that are no good for us, broken things.
Some things that clutter our lives are sins. We hold onto sins that are “fun” and really do not want to give it up. These can be gossip, drunkenness, theft, lying, cheating, adultery, pornography, abuse, and many more. They may not be real huge sins, but they are sins nonetheless and they will clutter up our lives. Sins will hold us back from being able to do more or to enjoy more the life God has given us.
Other things that can clutter our lives are the things in our lives. Our focus on the things take the place of spending time with God. Even good things in our lives can pull us away from God. Social media can be a good thing, but too much of it can also be a bad thing. Ministry is a good thing to do, but not at the expense of spending time with God. Cleaning the house or working a job, can often clutter our lives, shutting God out of the picture.
Most people have something in their lives that is clutter and not needed. You may be able to identify some things in your own life. Ask yourself, what is holding you back from knowing God more?
What is keeping you from reading and studying God’s Word more?
What is keeping you from hearing from God more in your own life?
All these things are clutter and need to be removed. Work on decluttering your life and strive to get closer to God. Get rid of the things that really don’t matter or are hurting your relationship with God.
As you do this, you will know that your relationship with God is the greatest thing you can ever have. It will be the foundation on which the rest of your life will find purpose.