Tidying Up – March 11, 2015

– By Rev. Jeff Gannon

Recently in the Wall Street Journal, Friday, February 27th, there was a major article which the themes of why de-cluttering is so important to one’s well being. The article was titled, “The Cult of Tidying Up,” and featured a Japanese woman named, Marie Kondo, who is considered Japan’s tidier-in-chief. Ms. Kondo’s book titled, “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” has sold over 2 million copies. As I shared in my most recent sermon series titled, “Simplify,” God is calling us to de-clutter our closets, our calendars, and our souls. Perhaps the reason Ms. Kondo is experiencing such phenomenal response is her thesis statement….”The book argues that the clutter in our homes is correlated to stress, and that to lead happier lives, we should spend our money on experiences rather than things.” When assisting someone with their “clutter,” she asks one very important question….”Does this bring you joy? If not, get rid of it!”

FYI….five tips on how to Kondo….

  1. Tidy by category: clothes first, then books, papers, and sentimental items
  2. Don’t foist your unwanted stuff on family members who might take it out of guilt. Give it to charity.
  3. There is nothing more annoying than papers. Throw them all away, unless they are absolutely necessary.
  4. Forget fancy storage containers. Drawers and shoe boxes often suffice.
  5. Avoid piles. Tip items up on their sides and store them next to each other, rather than stacking them.

Dallas Willard says the most spiritual activity which delights the heart of God is to sleep until you cannot sleep anymore. The second most spiritual activity, in my humble opinion, is to de-clutter until there is nothing left to de-clutter.

Recently, I had the privilege of attending recently the funeral of Dwight Wallace, brother to our own Wayne Wallace. Dwight’s children shared how their father demanded they memorize the famous expression, “If,” by Rudyard Kipling. To the honor and delight of their father, they memorized the poem and shared it beautifully at his memorial service.

It has been a long while since I had read it. I was reminded of the wisdom contained in this poem and commend to you for your perusal.

If—” is a poem by British Nobel laureate Rudyard Kipling, written in 1895 and first published in Rewards and Fairies, 1910. It is a tribute to Leander Starr Jameson, and is written in the form of paternal advice to the poet’s son.



(‘Brother Square-Toes’—Rewards and Fairies)

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;

If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!


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