Saturday, April 26, 2008

Clutter in sacred hearts

Rachelle and I are on a weird marriage retreat. Sacred Hearts Ministry is hosting our third weekend in a year with a dozen other couples, here at a hotel in Orange County. This retreat is sort of a less-is-more exercise, built around two blocks of alone time—in the morning as individuals and in the afternoon as a couple. On the fringes of these times of “extended personal communion” are worship, a date, and conversations about the outer journey of our daily lives and the inner journey of our alone time with God.

It is simply delicious.

One of my chief complaints about my life is its clutter. When I walk around my home wading through a sea of jumbled toy parts, jettisoned matchless footwear, and random princess accessories, I get a sort of material claustrophobia. When I walk my way through the schedule of a typical evening with the princesses who claim all that stuff, I feel that same cramped chaos in the realm of time. Reviewing a month’s budget, I see the clutter of expenses and wonder, “How can I clean this up? Isn’t there something I can simplify?” More difficult yet, even a cursory scan of my brain reveals a monumental mess. (Another David Wilcox fave describes this: Inside of My Head)

This weekend is simple. The space and time here—unlike so much else in our cup-runneth-over lives—are clean. Like a song too good to be overproduced, this weekend promises to be true to its melody—acoustic, unplugged, organic.

That’s what I need. Because as much as I gripe about clutter, the clutter is in my life because I allow it there, even need it there. I create clutter in my mind, in my schedule, in my heart. I may lionize the Amish, but I am still a sucker for a chance to complicate my soul with words, news, thoughts, events, technology and stuff.

So what will I do this weekend without it? Here’s what I hope to do:

  • Restore my appetite for silence
  • Renew my thirst for God
  • Reconnect my heart to Rachelle’s

My schedule, my budget, my heart need de-cluttering. The space and time are here. God always has been. All I need now is the courage to let Him clean house.

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