Welcome to the Sunday Devotion. How much time have you devoted to God this week? If you are like me, my assessment looks pretty dismal. It’s just that every day I face so many things to do. But I have to ask myself – what things eat up my time and snatch away my focus.? Have you ever felt your life needs decluttering? That is what I have faced this week. As I prepare for bed, I list those things that I need to prioritize when I wake. But my morning to-do list often dissolves due to the clutter. Can you think of what clutter is in your life? While we are in this moment together, take a deep breath and let’s examine the ways we add clutter to our lives.
My obvious clutter often starts with the kitchen countertop. It usually collects a bit at a time. There is the flour canister that used to be stored in the pantry, but since it was being used often for a series of days when I cooked, it stayed out. Now in its place in the pantry stands a box of Bisquick, so the flour canister stays on the counter. Also on the countertop sits the recently purchased jar of garlic stuffed olives that hasn’t found a home and a towel on which set several pans, air-drying after being washed by hand. So the clutter grows and soon it needs a focused stretch of time to get everything in order. And there are other ways we add clutter to our lives.
Why do my morning plans dissolve and the to-do list suffer? Because I turn on the news to see what is happening and scroll on my phone to check news links. It’s amazing how I can be distracted by not-so-news-worthy items, like “50 Kitchen Hacks You Never Thought Of”. This seems like a worthy pursuit; however, when I check the time, I wonder how an hour (or more) could have possibly passed already. Has this ever happened to you?
It is far too easy to get distracted and let the clutter take over. When the flat surfaces in my home start to gather miscellaneous items, so do the spare moments when I react to things to do, read or research. Have you discovered Google? It is an amazing tool for the easily distracted mind. I’ve gotten to the point where any casual conversation can bring up a question where I must instantly turn to Google for an answer. It doesn’t matter if the answer is all that important, there are numerous answers, and then I also find other suggested queries that lead me down more Google “rabbit holes”.
Although it’s embarrassing to admit to the clutter in my life, I bring it up to show it’s a powerful force. The clutter of material things and the clutter or distractions for my mind detracts from the time I could be focusing on my relationship and communication with God. But how can I declutter? How do you eliminate the clutter so your focus on God is intentional and uninterrupted?
I’ve mentioned before that I find it easier to focus when I write prayers and thoughts in a journal. But the clutter of to-do lists distracts me. Here’s a thought! I should add journaling to my To-Do list. That is one way to be more intentional. I also find that if I don’t have the right kind of place in my house to get away from it all, I get in my car and drive to a nearby park. I have discovered multiple paths in the county parks.
I appreciate the time that I’ve just taken to examine the clutter in my life. It helps me understand it and, hopefully, control it instead of it controlling me. I pray the same for you. Look at your time and how you’ve spent it. How do you manage the physical and mental clutter in your life? This is a sincere question and I appreciate any suggestions that you may have.
Dear God, I thank you for your listening ear. Help me to declutter my mind so I can focus on the praise and prayer that I need to express. Hear my voice and help me be quiet and hear yours. Help me be released from the clutter of material things and the attention-seeking thoughts crowded in my head. I praise you for your power and strength and thank you for your never-ending grace. Amen.
Author: Bonnie Barber
Various authors throughout the Chesapeake Bay Mission Center and beyond provide these thought-provoking weekly devotions.