The Fantasy of an Uncluttered World


Oh, how I long to live in an uncluttered world! If you look at my desk in the photo above, you’ll see that I’m living in anything, but an uncluttered world. If you look closer at my desk, you’ll see that it’s “medium-cluttered”. There are actually a few items that I don’t consider clutter. A few books I’m reading. My journal. Much-needed caffeine cup. Favorite family photos. Good stuff, but not clutter. But, as you may have noticed my recent blog absence, my life has been unusually busy with film, writing and ministry activities. Yes, many good things, but still busy and cluttered.

And then there’s that pile of receipts that need filing. That large stack of papers I need to go through. Sticky notes of urgent items to followup on. People to call. Tasks to complete. If I’m not careful, that pile will grow and grow, creating a mind-numbing stack of mail, bills to pay, and papers screaming for order. And that’s just my desk… you don’t even want to look inside my mind.

I recently read some very helpful thoughts from Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence. If you’re drawn to the fantasy of an uncluttered world, I think you’ll find Christ offers us something deeper than a clutter-free desk. Sarah offers her reflections of Jesus’ words of hope, peace and guidance to her…

I am calling you to a life of constant communion with Me. Basic training includes learning to live above your circumstances, even while interacting on that cluttered plane of life. You yearn for a simplified lifestyle so that your communication with Me can be uninterrupted. But I challenge you to relinquish the fantasy of an uncluttered world. Accept each day just as it comes, and find Me in the midst of it all.

Talk with Me about every aspect of your day, including your feelings. Remember that your ultimate goal is not to control or fix everything around you; it is to keep communing with Me. A successful day is one in which you have stayed in touch with Me, even if many things remain undone at the end of the day. Do not let your to-do list (written or mental) become an idol directing your life. Instead, ask My Spirit to guide you moment by moment. He will keep you close to Me.

My Reflection…

The offer of “a life of constant communion” with Christ is so much more personal, intimate, and life-giving than a clean desk. The foolishness of thinking that I can control my circumstances is as unreal as living in the fantasy of an uncluttered world.

Even if “many things remain undone at the end of the day,” my day will be an unparalleled success by staying in touch with Jesus.

Questions: What words, ideas, or sentences by Sarah Young resonate with you? How do you relate to the “fantasy of living in an uncluttered world”?

I’d love your thoughts and comments.

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  • deb e

    Hi Joey, These were well needed words at the right time.Good encouragement and support. I have wrapped myself up, in my life, with “to do lists” and inner sadness as my failings of “getting my house in order” for so many years. I have never accomplished enough on my lists, to be peaceful.

    Ive taken precious time away from doing other things that might have brought me peace instead.I just started yesterday to think to myself, (as sharing those thoughts with God) walking in a different way..I thought, I will always have clutter around me, most likely, there will always be material things in my life I dont need. I should learn to let go of those lists of getting rid of it all, and in perfect order, as my way to achieve a peaceful place with materialism. I thought, maybe instead I should gather my peace with God, in the here and now and let him guide me to what He knows really needs to be done in my life.Step by step,Instead of me assuming, and ending up walking over His toes .

    I grew up in a household with a military colonel as my father.He taught us basically to be good soldiers, its what he knew.Its been great for me in some places where I do need to know my enemy, fight, be strong, yet fair. BUT its been very difficult not being a perfectionist, being a woman, being an artist( fairly frivolous to him) though he had dreams of it at one time, and having any kind of material items but the very basics. While keeping it all in impeccable order.

    I hope to stay on this new path, and finally get free of this burden in my spirit vs the burden of my lists and materials ,all in impeccable order.Im hoping it will all end up, being free, me included.

    Thanks Joey for your sharing of your heart, that ends up in my mailbox thousands of miles away. God Bless, Deb


    • Joey O’Connor

      Thanks Debbie for sharing your story.

      Yes, I agree… there are days when I have to walk away from the clutter, realizing I’m human and I can’t get it all done today. Surrender is the primary word I need to remember.

      I’m sure your story will encourage others!