We are bombarded daily with advertisements of stuff that “We need.” Cars. Trucks. Clothes. Homes. Food. Alcoholic beverages. Digital games. Services. Get away cars. Get away hotels. Get away islands. Get away cruises. Furniture. Glasses. Shoes. You name it, we got it.
When we are young, we are tempted to think that new cars or new clothes, or new shoes will change our present situation. We are saturated with messages that more is better. When we latch on to some message that tempts, it is difficult to let go of that temptation until we finally purchase the item and think that we have finally arrived. We realize only too soon that what we thought would satisfy begins to tarnish and lose it’s initial appeal.
Hopefully as we grow older we realize that stuff can never satisfy and we begin the arduous task of decluttering our stuff. Nadine and I are doing just that as we have become serious of selling our house and downsizing to 1/2 the present size or smaller. The garbage can has been overflowing over the last month with stuff we are consciously choosing we don’t need.
Nadine got in the swing of the experience when she decided to declutter her shoe store. I do mean a shoe store.
51 pair of shoes that have been decluttered from her closet. As you can tell she is very organized and lined them up according to color and style where the exercise shoes are all in one place, slippers in another place, and strap shoes in a section of their own.
I am really proud of her because she has begun to choose to declutter and simplify her life by getting rid of shoes she wouldn’t wear today. Choosing to simplify is a day to day exercise of removing stuff in our lives that tempt us to stay connected with the lie that things can ultimately satisfy our lives. Whether it be shoes, or shirts, or bolts, it is a conscious choice of ridding ourselves with things in our lives that keep us wrapped in the cocoon of desire.
Simplification involves changing the master of our lives. Mark 10:17-31 is a story of the young man who was rich and wanted to know how he might inherit eternal life. Jesus told him about the commandments of not murdering, not committing adultery, not stealing, not giving false testimony, not defrauding others, and honoring your father and mother. The young man responded by saying that he had done all of these things. He was a good man, one you would want to be your neighbor. Jesus then said to him, “One thing you lack. Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” He walked away as his face fell. He had a lot of money and was unwilling to simplify. He couldn’t get rid of his stuff.
I am so proud of my wife as she has begun to do what I have been doing for awhile. It is a process of letting go as you can see her closet now.
They fit now on her shelves, but she is not done yet. On this journey when God calls you to simplify and sell the stuff to follow him, be encouraged that He doesn’t give up on us and is waiting for us to simplify, simplify, simplify.