Sunday, March 3, 2013


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1. to fill or litter with things in a disorderly manner;

2. disorderly heap or assemblage;

Clutter is no stranger to me. I have small piles of things all over the house. Next to the chair where I sit in the morning to have my morning coffee is a stack of books, a notebook and fountain pen and various other things that have drifted there. Next to the chair where I sit in the living room is my laptop. As I look at the table on which my laptop sits I see an external hard drive, another stack of books, some sermon manuscripts that never made it to a file drawer, a copy of last year’s tax return and some other odds and ends. On the dresser next to my side of the bed is another stack of books, the most recent copies of the Sun Magazine and Christian Century. And of course, with each stack is a pair of reading glasses.

There is nothing inherently bad in any of those stacks, but there is little room for other things in any of those areas. That is the problem with clutter. We attach ourselves to things we value, but when other things come along there is no room. Sometimes it is necessary to clear the surfaces to make space for new things.

During this Lenten season, I am paying attention to internal clutter- those things that clutter my heart and mind. As I try to create a more spacious place for God to dwell I am aware of how easily I let my life get full – it is full of good things, but sometimes so full that when something new comes along there is no room.

I hope by the time Holy Week arrives there will be enough space to be aware of the darkness so that I might then have a greater awareness of the new life that can emerge when there is room.

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