Let’s get real here.

Foreword:
Every once in a while, I’ll write something and mentally sit on it. I stew over the words. I wonder if it makes sense to anyone but me. I momentarily question if I’m a tad bit crazy, and I wonder if I even know what I’m talking about. I invent my own words, explore ideas and create stories, and sometimes I just have to stop and think: does anyone else’s mind work this way?

And then I hit publish and find out that yes, yes I’m quite normal actually.

And it’s all good again.

Here is one such post that’s been sitting on my desktop since Christmas. Now that it’s nearly February, it’s probably time to go live.

Blah, blah blah. Here’s the actual post:
Okay, I admit it. I’m more likely to spend my Friday nights at home reading than out socializing. And, to make my twenty-two-year-old self even more lame, I’ve recently been reading books on simplifying and organizing your life.

I’m totally enthralled by these books. There’s something about reading how to declutter your closets, your desk, your mudroom and, ultimately, your life that completely captivates me.

But…

I’m a little bothered by something. Freeing up your time. Erasing commitments. Dismissing other people’s problems. Dealing with yourself and only yourself. Reorganizing your life until you’re blue in the face.

I don’t know, it’s maybe just a little too self-centered, in my honest opinion.

I’m aware that I say “yes” too often. Saying no scares me; I don’t want to disappoint people. But I’m also aware that saying no can be a much better solution, if you aren’t able to deliver your promise (without stress and anxiety).

These books talk about erasing those commitments entirely from your life. I love the theory, but I’m not so sure I agree with it.

People need our help. As Christ followers, it’s our job to bring order to the mess of this world. But should we do that by picking and choosing? Deciding what to keep and what to purge, and forgetting about it entirely? No. We shouldn’t. And here’s why.

There’s chaos in the world. We’re all living in it. First and foremost, it’s important to find some level of inner peace. We can’t change the world until we make things right with God and right with ourselves. Books on simplification start there, but they often take it a step further and explain ways to avoid losing one’s personal harmony.

God needs us. He needs us out there, giving up time and money and resources. Sacrifices often cause stress, and we should strive to regain that much-needed inner peace that only He can provide.

But, that doesn’t mean we should stop reaching out, helping and doing the work. We shouldn’t shut out the world to find balance within.

And even if we wanted to design our lives, we can’t, because we’re simply not in control. He’s the ultimate lifestyle designer.

Embrace this messy world, and let Him shine through you to leave it better than you found it.

Let’s be real.

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