Let The Necessary Speak
A few days ago, we did a bunch of late Spring cleaning at my house that included the cleaning and organization of our bedroom and bathroom, as well as a purge of my clothes.
Now to be fair, when I say "purge" in relation to my clothes, I didn't get rid of everything, but I did get rid of roughly half of my t-shirts, as well as a decent amount of dress clothes, ball caps, shoes and the like.
I used as my criteria for keeping something whether I'd worn it in the last year or not, and/or did it still speak to me in some way. I was intent on keeping things that still sparked joy in me, and getting rid of what didn't.
After I'd filled several trash bags full of unwanted items, I took stock of what I had left and realized I still had a long way to go to truly achieve the simplification that I desired.
I also realized I wasn't ready to let a lot of things go because I felt sentimental about them, or I thought they might yet be useful---both of which were based on feelings rather than facts.
But I gave myself some grace, mostly because I know how hard it is for any of us to simplify our lives when there are so many things that seemingly defy simplification, or that we struggle to let go of.
In other words, learning to live more simply is an oft-long process that takes patience, honesty, courage, and humility, none of which come easy to most of us.
What we may find if we are willing to embrace this process, however, is a path to clarity and peace.
I read this amazing quote from Hans Hoffman the other day, and I wrote it down to think about it more deeply:
The ability to simplify means eliminating the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.
The truly beautiful aspect of that statement is that it applies to so very many situations---from purging clothes you never wear to making major decisions about your career, relationships, values, and more.
Jesus advocated for his followers to simplify things on numerous occasions. He sent them out to teach, heal and do ministry with little or nothing to carry with them as they went.
Jesus also told his followers to "seek first" God's kingdom on earth and to let all of their other distractions, fears, anxieties, and the like simply take care of themselves.
He told them not to spend so much time worrying about what tomorrow might bring, and to simply stay focused on what was happening at the moment because today is all any of us truly have.
When we figure out how to get rid of all the things that might be vying for our attention, but aren't truly helpful to us as we seek to become our best and truest selves, we are learning to engage in the kind of simplification that can transform us forever.
Practice letting the necessary speak in your life today by eliminating what is unnecessary. Get rid of the noise. Let the distractions go. Seek what is good, beautiful, and true today, and allow the rest to fall away.
May it be so for you today and every day from this day. And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always.