Do you know who I am?
There’s a popular new Netflix show called Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. I’ll admit, I haven’t seen it, nor have I read Marie Kondo’s book: The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Usually I try not to form an opinion on something I know little about and have no experience with, but from what I’ve read about it from various media outlets, it’s an interesting concept, and it fits well with how I believe we are called to live into our identities as children of God.
This is undoubtedly oversimplified, but Marie Kondo’s method for de-cluttering as I understand it is to ask yourself if the object you are holding sparks joy. If it doesn’t, gives thanks for it, and then let it go.
I think it’s great that the practice of giving thanks and letting go is becoming a mainstream trend.
Our possessions do not define us or make us worthy of love. God calls you beloved simply because you are one of God’s creatures. Your worth is in Christ, not in your stuff. Not to mention that we can’t take any of our possessions with us when we die.
It’s only the love of God that endures for all of time and joins us to God’s Kingdom forever. The art of letting go is precisely what Christ calls us to do at the cross. To lay down our burdens, confess our sins, give up trying to be in control and let it all go at the foot of the cross. There God’s love and mercy meets us and carries it all away.
Regarding the question as to whether something sparks joy, here is where I have a small objection. In my life joy ebbs and flows through different seasons. What might spark joy for a few months, might not before too long. And at some points, joy feels elusive.
Then I think of the first sign of Jesus in the second chapter of John’s gospel where Jesus turns water into wine at the Wedding in Cana. The wine has run out long before the wedding guests are ready to stop celebrating. It seems like a trivial thing, but Jesus steps in. He tells the servants to fill up 6 giant stone jars all the way to brim with water.
When they draw some out after following Jesus’ command, the water is now wine, and it’s better than the best wine at the wedding.
God can surprise us with joy in unexpected places: in the midst of the pile of stuff we thought had long gone cold, in the middle of the ordinary and mundane.
God continues to call forth joy throughout our lives to delight us and remind us that we are loved. Cluttered or tidy, God is faithful to you and wants you to find joy, even if just a spark.