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COLUMN: Apply the Marie Kondo method to your mind and create space to let God in

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COLUMN: Food for Thought by Rev Lorna Tunstall

I have decluttering on my mind right now. This is largely because in my church in Helmsdale we are gearing up to hold a sale of work at the end of this month, so we are looking for donations.

We are also, on Wednesday, August 31, going to open a pop-up thrift shop in the church hall in Helmsdale, and from then on it will be open every Wednesday, from 11:30pm -2:30pm.

Rev Lorna Tunstall.
Rev Lorna Tunstall.

In my church in Brora, we are also hoping to reschedule our planned car boot sale within the next few weeks when hopefully we will get a better response from people that are looking to book a space.

Suddenly everything around the manse is a potential candidate for these activities.

A friend of mine is downsizing house and has taken great joy in supplying me bag upon bag of clothes and surplus crockery and other household items that may be useful. The manse garage is getting filled with other people’s excess stuff.

The benefits of a declutter have been widely publicised. Most of us will be familiar with the Marie Kondo method of tidying up as detailed in her original book "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up".

Her methodology is that we should only keep things that are either absolutely necessary or items that belong to us that “spark joy”.

That is all very well for our household goods and clothes, but I wonder whether we need to pay attention to this for our own spiritual health?

What about our minds and our faith?

What is cluttering up our daily thoughts preventing us from focussing on what “sparks joy?”

I wonder what thoughts and worries we are focussing on that are wasting our time and our energy.

Thoughts and worries that perhaps we have little control over? Thoughts and worries that are leaving little room in our minds for our faith.

Perhaps we need to hand these over to God?

Perhaps we need to clear space in our minds to allow us to have a deeper and more personal relationship with God?

We need to make space to allow God in. To allow God to enter our thoughts. To allow God to show us that he is with us, that he cares and that we are loved.

How can the Holy Spirit complete his work if we are focusing on too many other things in our minds?

Ecclesiastes 3 speaks about there being a time for everything. Verse six declares that there is “A time to keep and a time to cast away”.

Jesus performed many miracles casting out demons from people’s minds. We all have demons in some shape or another, but we get into difficulty when we allow our demons to take over and control our minds.

When we refresh our faith, when we actively spend time in prayer and listening for the word of God, that is when we are at our most connected with him.

It is often in the silence, in the quiet, in contemplative prayer that God will speak to us through our thoughts.

So why not give it a go? Let’s all have a mental declutter of your mind. Hand over those troubles of which you have no control to God. Prepare the way to allow the space for God to enter your mind.

Who knows you may just find the spark of joy you have been missing!

Rev Lorna Tunstall is the Church of Scotland minister at Brora and Helmsdale.

Ecclesiastes 3: Everything Has Its Time.
Ecclesiastes 3: Everything Has Its Time.

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