Pathways through Lent

Disorderly Conduct


At times I look around my house and think “My confusion is continually before me” (Psalm 44:15). I simply own too much stuff and cannot find a place for it. Like many, I am surrounded by clutter. De-cluttering is always on my to-do list. De-cluttering has made it on the litany of things I give up for Lent numerous times, in the form of giving up online shopping or refraining from going to the mall. The life-robbing presence of clutter in my home definitely has my attention, but it is cyclical. I remove things, but those things are inevitably replaced with new things. When Paul wrote, “Let all things be done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40) I am sure he did not contemplate that there would be a thing called “QVC” and the “Today’s Special Value” to tempt me with products and gadgets designed to organize the cluttered home, available for delivery at the click of a mouse.

My clutter takes away from my ability to focus and make space for spiritual practice. It is one more thing on the “to-do” list that usurps time that could be used in prayer or other spiritual practices. Giving up clutter for Lent, or any bad habit, is a way of positively turning our life back towards a God-centered life. By instituting order in my home and de-cluttering, I hope to make more space for God and bring more peace in my life and home. Anything is possible with God’s help.

– Niquelle Allen


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