Mind Clutter

On Saturday the girls and  I spent a good part of our day cleaning our shop office for an upcoming Open House.  It hadn’t been cleaned for years so it was extremely dirty.  We scrubbed and swept and sprayed.  As we cleaned we came across old catalogs and coffee makers and phone books.  The cabinets and shelves were filled with things that no one ever uses anymore.  We started piling the unused things in two piles – to give away and to burn.  All of that stuff took up precious room in our office and was serving no purpose whatsoever.  A couple of hours after we had begun, we were able to walk away from that office knowing we had not only cleaned it but cleared it of the unnecessary clutter, as well.  It was a good feeling.

Of course, as usual, that got me thinking.  Do we do that in our minds, too?  Could it be that it is time to do a good cleaning of our minds and rid it of the clutter that has settled there?   Things like:

–Opinions and feelings formulated about others before we really knew them.  Maybe we never even gave them a chance because we made an assumption about them ten years ago.

–Past hurts and failures that keep popping up whenever we try to accomplish anything.  Oh, I know there are some things we can never forget, but those things belong in the basement of our minds…not in family room where we see them every time we turn around.

–Awards, special prizes, and trophies.  I know the world would tell you to keep these things at the very forefront of your mind to help you remember how special you are, but I would beg to differ.  I find that these things tend to lead to pride and arrogance and it is better if they, too, are packed away in the basement.

–Grudges, resentments, and ill will towards others.  These things need to be put on the burn pile.  Burn them up and leave them in the ashes.  They do no good to anyone.  I am truly shocked at how many Christians hold grudges.  Someone didn’t treat my child right on the soccer team…a teacher who didn’t understand my child…An unfair boss…malicious gossip behind my back…a misunderstood comment directed my way…we rationalize that any real or imagined offense directed towards us or someone we love gives us the right to hold a grudge.  But may I remind you– grudges are truly worthless.  They not only are worthless but they often cause great harm. They deserve no space in our minds whatsoever.

–Worry and Fear take up needless amounts of effort, energy, and mind space, don’t they?  They crowd our minds sometimes until we can’t even focus on anything else.  They, too, need to be put on the burn pile.  We would be much better off to fill the shelves of our minds with Trust and Faith.

And so, many of us have our minds cluttered with this stuff instead of leaving that space for the good things.  Philippians 4:8 is one of my favorite verses:

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

Let’s think on things that encourage and edify and help us to grow in our relationships with God and others.  Life is just too short to spend it with a cluttered mind.

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