Spring Cleaning

Here is an article that I wrote recently for the Fellowship Reformed Church of Holland eNewsletter called “Sunday’s Comin'”.

This past week our basement was a self-imposed mess. We decided to re-organize our storage area which meant moving everything from one side of the basement to the other so we could construct shelving. Do you have a space where you store all of that stuff you can’t throw out? For us that ended up being things like yearbooks, childhood report cards, family photos, art work, dishes, “antiques,” toys, a crib, clothing, and unused furniture. As we pulled out all of those boxes and items we started to question whether those items continued to have value for us.

As you can imagine, the sermon this past Sunday struck a particular chord with me as I thought about all of those things we have purchased or received that are no longer being used. We have been literally storing up all of these “treasures” in our basement, and they have a piece of our heart (Matthew 6:19-21). I wish Jesus would have said something about keeping our treasures neat and organized. Pastor Brian identified that we often cling to things out of anxiety and worry. I have also found that I hang on to things out of my desire to be something that I am not. You wouldn’t believe all of the fishing poles I have acquired even though I do not make any time to actually go fishing. In my mind, I am an amazing fly fisherman.

This past year I have been learning about a minimalism subculture in our society. Their focus is on living with as little as possible. In fact, some try to whittle all of their possessions down to only 100 items. Joshua Becker, a Blogger about minimalism and author of “Simplify” and “Clutterfree with Kids”, recently wrote an article entitled, “Buying Stuff Won’t Make You Happy“. In it he says:

“The goal of minimalism is not to remove desire entirely from my life. Instead, the goal of minimalism is to redirect my desires. There are valuable pursuits available to us: love, justice, faith, compassion, contribution, redemption, just to name a few. These should be pursued with great fervor. But far too often, we trade the pursuit of lasting fulfillment for temporary happiness. We can do better. We can dream bigger.

Redirect your desires toward lasting pursuits. Find happiness there.

Because you will never find the right things looking in the wrong places.”

I was struck by his words and how strongly they resonated with what we heard this past Sunday. I praise God for the reminder to redirect my focus and desire on Christ while also looking for ways to give where I want to be and let my heart catch up.

Where is your treasure?