I participate in Casa: An Experiment in Doing Church Online and this was my reflection from yesterday.
Come and find the quiet centre
in the crowded life we lead,
find the room for hope to enter,
find the frame where we are freed:
clear the chaos and the clutter,
clear our eyes, that we can see
all the things that really matter,
be at peace, and simply be.
Words by Shirley Erena Murray.
Those words were echoing in my ears as I struggled to cope with a study that was crowded and cluttered. It was NOT the comfortable, contemplative space that I planned and envisioned in my home. For a while it was, but gradually, as I bought more books (many unread!) and had to bring many books home when I moved from one congregation to another. I couldn’t find anything in it and it was CHAOS!
I spent a week or more decluttering, rearranging and purging. Sorting and culling was so overwhelming that I could only do it for a couple of hours at a time. And it wasn’t enough to rearrange, I also had to let go of some of the books that I hadn’t opened in a decade. I made a stack of them (well, several stacks) and one day sat down to cut my name of them before taking them to the local theological school. Well, the first couple of books I opened had been gifts from my mentor, who died this past winter, I couldn’t give those away! Thankfully, those two, and two more were the only ones I removed from the ones to be given away.
The books are now arranged according to subject matter and it was good to handle them all again, remember them, and decide whether or not to keep them. The bonus is now I can find them too! I have embarked on a reading plan for all of those unread books, a chapter a day. That’s doable most days with my schedule.
What is cluttering up your space? Physical, spiritual, emotional or otherwise? How will you clear the clutter and the chaos? Where will hope have room to enter? What are the things that really matter?
My prayer is that we all make space for the Spirit to enter… for she will enter regardless, but will we have space to pay attention to her.
Before and after pictures.