St Andrew Blog

Letters from the Intern

Decluttering...

let go and let god widow of zarephathIt's 2019!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful start to their New Year.

I want to know; how do you feel about New Year’s Resolutions? Do you find them helpful? Or do you think they aren’t worth your time?

No matter if you’re writing down ten to twenty resolutions, or just continuing to go about daily life, God is working in us to be the best versions of ourselves. I find that the New Year provides a chance for us to focus on how God “renews.”

In Isaiah 43:18-19 it says,

“Do not remember the former things,
    or consider the things of old.
19 I am about to do a new thing;
    now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
    and rivers in the desert.”

I was conflicted with this passage upon reading it. I have learned that the only way to not repeat the past is to learn from it. To learn from it, we need to remember it. Yet, this passage tells us otherwise. “Do not remember the former things… I am about to do a new thing…”

This week, I started a seven-day exercise to “declutter.” I know, an awful word. Doesn’t it make you stressed to hear it? I don’t want to have to go through my things. I have too much stuff! Nevertheless, I am trying to challenge myself to get rid of things I no longer need, especially clothes.

In this exercise, when entering each area of our house to declutter, you are supposed to hold up each item and ask yourself three questions:

  1. Is it beautiful? AKA- Would you buy it today?
  2. Is it useful? AKA- does it get used regularly?
  3. Is it sentimental? AKA- does it help tell your story?

So today, I entered my closet and began. As I was holding up each item of clothing, I started an inner dialogue that was surrounded in shame.

“Why didn’t I do this sooner? Why did I even buy this? I waste so much money on things that I shouldn’t…”

Then I thought of Isaiah 43, “Do not remember the former things… I am about to do a new thing…” and my inner dialogue stopped.

I realized that my thoughts were not beautiful, not useful, or sentimental. They were full of guilt. My mind was “considering the things of old” instead of the renewal that comes with letting go.

Along with our closets, our minds could use a good decluttering. How often do we fill ourselves with negative thoughts? Or fill up with media, gossip, and distractions from the world around us? What would it look like to declutter ourselves?

It’s not about the pants. I should never have bought them, so they are in the donate pile. It’s about admitting that to myself and letting go. We are going to make mistakes, like buying the pair of pants that we never wear. And God’s grace is greater than our impulse purchases. God renews us each day so that we can learn. Yet, if we hold onto the shame and guilt of our mistakes, they cloud our ability to see God’s grace working in our lives.

If you look at the picture associated with today’s blog, you’ll see the letters spelling out “Let Go” in bold. But at the end, there is a faint “D.” This depicts the phrase, “Let go, let God.” Just like it says in Isaiah, we must let go; let go of our sins, our mistakes, our guilt, and our shame. For God is doing new and wonderful things within us; decluttering.

I hope no matter if you write down your resolutions or not, together we can remember to let go and let God.

Let us pray,

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.

Amen.             

(Psalm 51:10-12)

 

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