Separating the Treasure from the Trash

By April 19, 2008 culture, faith No Comments

A few months back I read a book titled Make Room for God: Clearing Out the Clutter by Susan Rowland. This easy reading book followed one woman as she decluttered her life from doing and having. She made major lifestyle changes as she sought God for the fulfillment of her aching soul. The synopsis on the back cover has this sentence: “She reveals how she de-toxed from the societal pressure to do constantly and to have insatiably . . .”

Over the past two weeks I have been pondering my consumption patterns—I came across Rowland’s book and remembered one activity that I would do well to implement. She calls it the Evacuation Game. You have 30 seconds in each room of your home to preserve those items that are true treasures to you. This list narrows down the treasure from the trash, making it easier to pare down and declutter. There is much I have that I could do without. But because I am not being forced to choose, all the stuff remains.

I like the practice of not only curbing my consumption and purchasing (which brings new clutter into the home), but also the practice of clearing out some of the stuff that is piling up around me. This seems like a good summer project! And I’m actually excited about the idea of having less to shift about, less to clean around, less to stash.

A. W. Tozer said this in The Pursuit of God:

“The way to deeper knowledge of God is through the lonely valleys of soul poverty and abnegation of all things. The blessed ones who possess the kingdom are they who have repudiated every external thing and have rooted from their hearts all sense of possessing. These are the ‘poor in spirit.’ . . . These blessed poor are no longer slaves to the tyranny of things.”

Consumption and possessions are companions in this life. Intimacy with them is shallow, but easy to find. So often I have settled for them—chosen them—above intimacy and fellowship with the Lord Jesus. But I have tasted and seen that the Lord is satisfying above all else; and that intimacy and fellowship is found in “the lonely valleys of soul poverty and abnegation of all things.” Knowing that He is fully satisfying, I want to press on to clearing the clutter and making room for more of Him.

It makes sense to me that when my heart aches, I look for a salve. I just want to be sure to pick the right One.

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