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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Cleaning Out the Clutter

I am one of those people who has a hard time deciding between what is good and what is best. I often keep old electronics because they intrigue me. They still work but because of quality, style or specific function have become obsolete. This is true for old clothes, old bicycles, and anything else that I simply can't use anymore but still appears to be in reasonably good shape.

Some of my clutter comes from being raised on a farm. A farm is generally some distance from supply stores. It is in a rural section of the country where you will have to drive significant distances or place orders for repairing equipment. Therefore, things are saved because they have the potential for being reused in a pinch. It is better to have an old piece of equipment working than a more efficient piece of equipment which doesn't work. The job has to be done. Waiting is not an option on the farm. You literally make hay while the sun shines. You don't have time to wait for replacement parts.

However, that is really no excuse for what I am doing. I am keeping things which are cluttering my house and my life. Some of these things are good but they are keeping me from the best. It is hard for me to stop doing or keeping the good but it must be done if I am ever going to have the best.

Take my schedule, for example. I need to have a time with the Lord each day. This I keep very regularly. I pray, read the scriptures and write this blog. This blog represents my time with the Lord. I try to keep the personal things out of it but sometimes, like today, they must come through.

I need to make sure that I spend time talking with my wife. This is something that most men have to consciously do. Men don't think of talking with their wives so their wives are often left to nagging them. Nagging will eventually get men to talk although it usually means they speak angrily. It is important for her that I talk with her each day. I must listen but I also must talk. I call her several times during the day just to let her know that I am thinking of her. This is really important.

I should spend time exercising each day. That is why I ride a bicycle to work each day. I need it so that I can be healthy and able to do what the Lord has called me to do. Exercise has lowered my cholesterol, regulated my blood pressure, brought my resting heart rate to 45 bpm, increased my energy, helped me sleep, helped me lose weight (35 lbs.) and significantly decreased me back pain. Yes, I would have to say this is one thing that I don't need to eliminate from my life.

What things have had to go? Most of the things on television will kill your thinking processes. A couple of programs a week is all I really need for recreational tv. Anything else is clutter.

A lot of sports needs to go in the fall. I generally spend my Saturdays watching college football. None of the coaches or team members have done so much as send me a Christmas card for my devotion. It is a general waste of my time. Folloing one team is better than following all of them.

Wasteful chatting must be something of the past. There are times when you need to talk to people. It is the friendly, loving thing to do but it cannot be done when it simply becomes an effort to waste time. You have to ask if the person you are talking to or if you are accomplishing anything with this conversation. Gossip has to go. Saying things that build others in their faith or encourage them must stay. Sorting through these conversations will make them more meaningful to all parties involved.

Endless internet searches must end. One search leads to another and to another and to another and . . . . Soon, you have spend an hour looking at the internet without getting anything done. The danger is that this will keep you from doing what you should be doing. The danger is that these searches may lead you to something that you don't need to see. (I have never had this experience but people tell me that it happens.) I must make a point of getting the info I need and getting back to what I need to do.

Endless online shopping goes hand-in-hand with internet searches. I have spend two days making sure that I got the best price on an item that cost less than $100. I haven't taken into account what it has cost me to search. It would have been cheaper for me to have bought the item retail than to have done such a search.

I must throw away the things that are getting in the way. My desk is presently cluttered with things I need to toss. I will never need these memos, calendars, brochures and other items which cover every inch of my desk. I spend too much time trying to get to the things which are important because I have to dig through the things that aren't.

The word "best" is a superlative. There aren't any other best. Faith is best over all the good things I can do. Family is best over all the other people I have spend time with. My service to the Lord is best over all the activities in my life.

I must clean out the clutter or else I will appeal to the good and never have time for the best.

Do you think that was what Jesus was trying to tell Martha?

Luke 10:38-42 (NIV)
38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" 41 "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

excellent post!!!!
i lost your blog for awhile but i found it again and i will keep track of it now- i added it to my google page!