In the past several weeks, I have immersed myself in the knowledge of simplicity, of minimalism, and of letting go. I have already given away half of my clothes, all but two shelves of my books, countless papers, and a small load of kitchen utensils. But, to what end?
Is it a matter of pride? “Look at all I have discarded, how organized I am!” Yes, in part, I think it has been that. Is it a matter of control? Yes, that too. I pursue purging to gain some semblance of control over my time and surroundings. I don’t want to constantly be picking up, sorting through, looking for things. Is it a matter of purpose? Yes, of course. I don’t want to live in the shadow of past interests, relationships, and accomplishments. I want to pursue my passions for today. But, what is my passion?
There can be only one, true passion, and I fear, in my quest for simplicity, I have made it self-actualization rather than holiness. I have become so focused on the process of simplifying, the end result, and the potential freedom it will bring, that I have forgotten the freedom I have right now in Christ. As Oswald Chambers said in the September 1st entry of My Utmost for His Highest, “The destined end of man is not happiness, nor health, but holiness . . . The one thing that matters is whether a man will accept the God who will make him holy. At all costs, a man must be rightly related to God.”
Only two days into this series, and already my course to simple living has been altered. It is not that I will forgo the shedding of the unnecessary, but the purpose of letting go is to draw closer to Christ and to let His life pour through me. When I surround myself with inconsequential things, I am distracted from the highest pursuit of knowing and becoming more like Him.
Here is my prayer for the remainder of our journey this month:
Lord, let this journey toward simple living be a pathway that brings us closer to You. Help us to shed the unwanted, unloved, unnecessary parts of our homes and hearts to make more room for Your light and beauty to shine. Amen.