By: Emily Lehner
Spring is a time for cleaning, hence the phrase, “Spring Cleaning.” After a long winter, I know I definitely desire to refresh my life by tidying things up. Owning too many items has always been a problem for me.
Less than a year ago, I found myself drowning in everything I owned. It was at a very inopportune time, too. I was about to move into college, and I knew that I owned far too many things to fit them all in my dorm room comfortably. I also felt extremely unsettled by the fact that I found value in owning so many things, and I held onto all those things very tightly. I couldn’t decide why I owned so many pairs of shoes, but I did know that most of them sat stagnant in my room.
God placed a deep desire on my heart to rid my life of unused things. In my experience, I was living a life I believed I could live on my own by purchasing more and more things. I don’t think as humans we enjoy clutter, but most of us let it consume our lives. We would much rather spend hours cleaning up our houses before company arrives, than actually remove the clutter from our lives for good. Why is that?
Matthew 6:19-21 says:
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
I think verse 21 speaks strongest to me. That is where I found myself, surrounded by material items I had been consuming my entire life, and surely there was a purpose for all of these things in my life. If I couldn’t see that purpose, I would remind myself that maybe I would need that yellow shirt sometime, so I couldn’t throw it away.
My heart was set on buying the next new thing. I personally got sick of my own attempts to declutter my room and life, though. I realized that I couldn’t do it on my own anymore.
Simplifying my life has taught me to truly appreciate what I own. I can put to good use all the items I own, instead of just a few. I have been taught that placing value in consuming and gathering items may seem to lead to pleasure, but this pleasure is strictly earthly. Spring cleaning has taught me that I am not on this earth to accumulate all that I possibly can, but to praise Jesus with my whole heart, and for me, the constant need to purchase items got in the way of that true purpose.
The world is going to tell you that you can do life on your own. It is also going to tell you that having more things will bring you more happiness. I encourage you to remember that items are not what we need, but Jesus most certainly is.
Check out more of Emily’s blogs and devotions on her website at www.emilylehner.wordpress.com!
Emily Lehner is a writer for the Alumni Center, and is a first year Writing major. She is active on the cross country and track teams. She is passionate about using her writing skills to share the good news of Christ with others and writes often on her personal blog at www.emilylehner.wordpress.com. Her blog includes personal trials, triumphs, and devotion style writing.