If you aren’t familiar with Marie Kondo, let me summarize her. She is a woman with a very distinct knack for helping people weed out the things they need and the things they don’t in your lives. Think: a smiling lady helping hoarders get rid of their stuff and organize the rest.
She has a wildly popular Netflix show. And her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, has been a massive success and bestseller. For the present, she is a dynamo. She is a force of culture that has taken the attention of hundreds of thousands of individuals around the nation.
And, to keep this email brief and uncluttered, we need to ask ourselves “Why?” Why is cleaning up other peoples’ and our junk so interesting? The answer is simple: we all have too much stuff. All of us. I don’t think that blanket statement is too assuming. If we really stop and look at what we have, we all have more than we use or need. Period.
So, the task of giving up those things that tie us down, but don’t serve any purpose, is fascinating to us. It rivets us. Yes, we want to get rid of junk and keep those things that are life-giving. What a concept!
It bears some terrifying similarities to our Gospel reading for this week (Luke 5:1-11). It is a passage where Jesus calls four fishermen to come and be his disciples. Think of what they left behind: livelihoods, economic security, families, and likely more! They heard the call to come and follow and they uncluttered their lives in one fast and finalizing movement.
Could we do the same? If Christ calls us to follow him, the life-giving presence we know, do we have the fortitude to abandon all the non-essentials and follow? Can we give up TV for time to pray or read the Bible? Can we give up other activities to go and be in service to others through working at the food bank or volunteering in school?
Jesus’ call to “come and follow me” is far more than anything that Marie Kondo has ever attempted. But, there are similarities… both want us to reorganize our lives around those things that are life-giving and both want us to discard those things that tie us down and drain us.
Can we do it?