On distraction and decluttering, by Hannah.
Somehow, putting a book closer to where I sleep makes me feel as if I will be more likely to read it. As a result, there is always a constant pile of books which accumulate next to my bed. In the U.S., this habit was easy to hide by shoving them beneath my bed-frame, but becomes more obvious beside my futon in Japan. Slowly, these books have encroached closer and closer, until recently I rolled over in my sleep to find that the books had actually joined me and were competing with my pillow for space.
It has been said that the things which we are committed to are what make our lives, and recently I have addressed commitment and resolve at this blog. We commit our lives to God, but there are certainly many specific things which we commit to each day. For example, our families, jobs, and other responsibilities are all things to which we hold some level of commitment.
Yet obligations and people are not the only things which hold our commitment and attention. The tactics of the world are to constantly demand our focus, and to distract from our devotion to God. For example, the music we listen to, the things we read, what we watch, the environments in which we spend our time, and even the quality of our personal spaces (such as a room or office) can affect our spiritual health. And there is so much clutter.
When I speak of clutter, I do not necessarily mean physical clutter – such as the books which were trying to evict me from my own bed – but spiritual clutter. Things which draw us away from our commitment to God.
Decluttering our lives to give God greater space and control is a practice which should be constant. However, unless we are intentional about it, there will rarely (if ever) be any change to the state of our spiritual messiness. There may also be things which, although good in moderation, have taken up too much of our attention.
It’s time to declutter.
It’s time to check the playlists on our ipods. Check our youtube accounts, social media, receipts, and the words we speak. Check our time management. Check our habits. And in doing so, to choose to yield our lives to the greatest commitment, which is to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, souls and minds, and to love others as ourselves.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
– Philippians 4:8, KJV
Is there an area of your life which you need to declutter?
To find out more about Hannah, visit our writer’s page.