Last Sunday was the first day of spring. Perhaps it is time we all did a little ‘Spring Cleaning.’ So many of us have accumulated much more than we need. It bursts from our closets, overflows our shelves and clutters our lives to the point we even rent storage areas. Lent might be a wonderful time to deliberately release ourselves from the many “things” we own by cleaning out our closets and simplifying our lives in a prayerful and intentional way.
On one level, this is ridding ourselves of things we don’t need, or things that we hated to part with except that they are so “out of style.” Certainly, many of us have many things that are “extra” or “unneeded” for us, but could be wonderful for those who can’t afford to buy clothes at a store.
Another level of this journey into personal freedom is to ask ourselves how much I really do need. How many sweaters do I want to choose to have? How many jackets, sport shirts, dresses, shoes? How much jewelry? How much sporting equipment? How much electronic equipment? How many sets of silverware or dishes? How much of so many things we have in our lives?
We can get as serious and go as deeply into this as we desire to bear the good fruit of simplicity and generosity. This is not “should I get rid of what I don’t need?” This is different, more faith-filled and takes us into giving up ‘good’ stuff — perhaps stuff we are attached to — because we want to experience the exercise of freedom. It is often the case that the more possessions a person has – the more their possessions possess them!
We do this because we sense that we are not free in some areas that are tremendously important for us, important for our salvation, and growing in freedom before the things of our lives can be a great grace. This freedom, too, will place us in greater harmony with those who find such great happiness and joy in trusting in God, while having so much less than we imagine we could survive on. In that we will find happiness. This is just the beginning. What else might we do, that fits with my circumstances and the needs around us and in the world?
The journey continues.