Monday, 18 February 2013

A Lent of Simplicity - The Purge

So we got a little ahead of ourselves here, but I wanted to show you all what this could look like. These pictures are showing you what I'm only going to refer to as 'the pile.' Those of you who know me well know that I don't like clutter. Even the amount of stuff hanging on our fridge drives me crazy sometimes. Since we moved into our house four years ago there have been at least three times that I've been really motivated and thrown out a whole bunch of stuff.

The scary thing is that we're not hoarders. I don't think that we have an unreasonable amount of stuff. In fact I often pride myself in thinking that we don't keep a lot of things that we never use. However, these pictures prove that I'm deluding myself. The pile is a collection of clothes, dishes, movies, books, more clothes, that office chair, and a ragtag of other peculiarities which we have collected from all around our house (some of you may notice the small bag of nail clippers by the bread maker). And these are only the things that are good enough to give away! This doesn't include the things we threw out, or the things we set aside for other projects.

Simplicity is something that can always go further. We could keep going, we could always have less things, we could always create more space, we could even bathe in cold water if we wanted for a simpler lifestyle, but that's not entirely what this is about. We need a revelation in our culture. We need to understand just how much stuff we have, just how much stuff we own that we never use. The pile doesn't show me that I've got too much stuff--I knew that already; this pile shows me that my life is filled with things that I don't need and don't use.

I'm sending out a challenge to everyone who wants to take this up: go through your house, apartment  or room as a family or by yourself and get rid of some stuff. Stuff you never use, stuff you don't need, stuff that doesn't improve your life. You can set the bar as high as you want. But always remember that we're not doing this to clear room that we can fill with more stuff. This isn't about having more space to play in. This is about realizing what we have and what we truly need.

On March 7th we'll be helping anyone who wants to drive their own piles to the the MCC thrift store. Keep t-shirts off to the side for a special project. You can send pictures of your pile and stories to thenetworkchurch@gmail.com. Then, we can update our community's progress on the blog.

This is only the beginning of a process we're starting. The ultimate goal is to strive for a lifestyle that will help us love God and experience that love. Simplicity frees up time, resources, energy and especially focus. Let's do this in a way that helps us focus on the kind of life God wants for us.

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