Weekly Word – 1/05/23

Simpler is Better

I really appreciated pastor Brian Aaby’s message this past week on simplification and decluttering. These principles apply to us as a church, as families and as individuals. When we hear the term simplification, we can sometimes get the wrong idea, equating it to taking the easy way out, or being lazy. It is all but that. In fact, I would argue that it is a very complex process that take a lot of effort and work. It is about assessing all the things in our lives and determining what value they have or the impact they have on things that really matter. Have you ever spent time doing something that is mundane and perhaps purely for entertainment value, like playing a game on our phones or computer and then realize how much time has slipped by and how the time could have been better spent on something that had more meaning and value? And then, add another level to that. At the end of the day, take a look at what you did that day and determine what things had eternal value or purpose. 

Simplifying our lives doesn’t just involve getting rid of things that hold no or little value. There are many things that we do that may be important or hold much value, but sometimes we get bogged down with doing too much. We’ve experienced the same situation as a church. There was a time when we were doing more than our resources could cover. As a result some things were done with excellence, some things were ok, and some things were poorly executed. As far as our resources were concerned, the same people were involved with each of these ministry events and it was hard work.They were committed to serving and getting involved, but it was asking too much of them. At some point, they eventually had to take a break. It’s also important to point out that ministry should be fun and done with a joyful heart. When they become a burden or just hard work, we need to evaluate the purpose of doing these ministries.

It really comes down to being good stewards with the resources that God has put before us. As a leadership team, we are focused and more interested in doing ministries that we can sustain and that can be done with excellence. We are open to new ministries, but along with a new ministry, we need to have someone who will lead that ministry, has the desire and passion for it, and has plans on how they would like to lead that ministry. 

Decluttering is something that seems like an unending task for me. I am often going through our home and determining what things we can do without (definitely more than I am willing to admit or get rid of). In fact, I am in the process of doing that right now. “And this time, I’m serious about it!” But on a serious note, Whenever I do a good cleaning out, it really feels good and it really does contribute to simplifying my life. 

Clutter in our lives can often weigh us down or sometimes overwhelm us. Clutter, whether we realize it or not, adds stress to our lives. It also requires more time to organize or clean. But, this is something that many of us struggle with because, we don’t like to get rid of things that has some value, regardless of the fact that it is something we have not used or may never use. Which brings me to my next point. I don’t want to get rid of it because i “might” need it some day. 

Decluttering doesn’t only involve things. Sometimes we need to mentally declutter. Do we spend time thinking about things that really don’t matter. Or perhaps worrying about things that are completely out of our control? 

Simplifying and decluttering often seems overwhelming and for some, paralyzing. Like most new habits, pray about it, ask God for help, start small and commit to it. Simplifying our lives and getting rid of clutter makes us more available to serve God, makes us more available for family and loved ones, and can bring joy and peace in our lives.

Pastor Bryan