It's become my practice over the last year to just sit with this prayer most mornings:
A Prayer in 'The Middle Years' of Opportunity
from Celtic Daily Prayer (based loosely on a passage from Gift from the Sea, by Anne Morrow Lindbergh)
Lord, help me now to unclutter my life,
to organize myself in the direction of simplicity.
Lord, teach me to listen to my heart;
teach me to welcome change, instead of fearing it.
Lord, I give You these stirrings inside me,
I give you my discontent,
I give you my restlessness,
I give you my doubt,
I give you my despair,
I give you all the longings I hold inside.
Help me to listen to these signs of change, of growth;
to listen seriously and follow where they lead
through the breathtaking empty space of an open door.
This morning, I asked myself (and God) the hard question: what is it that is cluttering my life? Not surprisingly, I realized that much of what clutters my life are the intangible things. Fear. Anxiety over the silliest things. Mental to-do lists. Even some dreams perhaps that are left over from another time in my life.
And what would it look like to organize myself in the direction of simplicity? This phrase just speaks volumes to me. Organizing reminds me that these are steps I can take. And direction reminds me that there will always be room for improvement – it's movement not arrival that should matter to me. And simplicity – a picture came into my mind of open space. And again, not just in the tangible realm, but where my relationship to God is concerned. Room to move and grow and listen. Freedom to give and share my life with others.
As spring vaults into full bloom and we turn our attention to matters of spring cleaning, perhaps it's a good reminder for all of us to look inward and tend to some decluttering of our heart spaces.