I think it was me who uttered the fateful words - “the décor in this room is a bit stale; we haven’t changed it in over 20 years” – so I have only myself to blame. Thus the whole of last week spent selecting wallpaper and paints, stripping walls, painting and wallpapering. At least, I didn’t miss any nice summer weather!
But before we could get started on the redecoration, we had to clear a sideboard and wall cupboard that had to be moved and were chock full of things. Out came a whole variety of items we hadn’t looked at for years or forgotten we had. Some nice reminders of happy times, such as two Commonwealth Games souvenirs bringing back memories of an enjoyable few days at the games a year ago but a lot of the things taken out were considered unessential and were boxed up and dropped off at our favourite charity shop. We had engaged in a limited decluttering, something that we threaten to do all over the house but keeps getting put off.
This exercise prompted me to reflect that some decluttering ourselves in the spiritual sense is also desirable. When Jesus asked the disciples to follow him in what to be in essence a long spiritual journey, they left everything behind to follow him. That was a pretty radical ‘spiritual decluttering’ that most of us would find difficult to emulate but, nevertheless, finding some time for quiet reflection, time to thank God for his many blessings and time to pray for others is something we should do more often.
Old and St Andrews