"Hey, Ryan, I have two of these vases. Why don't you take one back to Atlanta. Don't you need a vase for flowers?" I had made the vases during my days as a potter, and I view them as a treasure.
Ryan looked at me in disbelief, but spoke with the patience usually reserved for a child. "Mama, my apartment is really small. I have nine decorative items. If I had even one more thing, it would be cluttered." He was serious.
I looked around my house and saw my "stuff" with new eyes. "I have more than nine decorations," I said, musing.
"Yeah, and you should consider getting rid of some of them."
Out of the mouths of babes...
I have not only considered getting rid of some things, I've started cleaning out. Much to my surprise, I found a three-piece service for eight of Christmas dishes, twelve goblets with trees for stems, a snowman spoon rest, and a set of snowman salt and pepper shakers, none of which I have used in the last two decades. They had been stashed in a top cabinet so long, I'd forgotten I had them.
Those Christmas items are only the beginning of the "stuff" I've accumulated over twenty-six years in this house. They will soon be going to a new home.
I'm cleaning out what I don't need.
Ryan lives lean and it's so freeing for him that I've decided to try it. Well, I probably won't live as lean as Ryan, but I'm moving in that direction.
This morning, I considered one of the verses I've memorized.
"...one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions..." Luke 12:15 esv
Life is not about stuff. Life in Christ is about freedom.
"It was for freedom that Christ set us free..." Galatians 5:1 nasb
That freedom includes the freedom from "stuff", but it is so much more. Christ intended us to be free from the burden of sin, as well.
As we make preparations for the new year, let's clean out the accumulations of the old and move toward living lean.
Let's do more than just clean out unneeded possessions, though. The bitterness, anger, unforgiveness, selfishness, and all the other sins we accumulate were not meant to find a welcome home in our hearts. Let's clean out the sin that so easily besets and make our hearts lean and clean as well.
Today, let's take a fresh look at our hearts and the sin that dwells there. Offer the "clutter" to Jesus and let Him make us fresh and clean.
If we want to make a fresh start in 2016, we must begin by having a "fresh heart".