The Marie Kondo season has come. Re-organize, give away, say “Thank you” and “Goodbye” to old stuff.
This is not because of the approaches of Christmas and Lunar New Year ahead. It is simply that now that I have retired, I have been freed of many of the church ministry “To Do List” priority items, that kept many of the household duties and tasks awaiting my attention. Now that those items at the top have been removed, those at the bottom are nearer the top, and gets my attention.
Ministry work stretched the intellectual and psychological. Preparing and preaching the sermon and trainings, evaluating and planning the worship services, facilitating meetings for planning, strategizing, reconciling, and supervising have all required the investment of spiritual, mental and emotional energies.
Therefore, I welcome this Marie Kondo season, this season of mainly physical work with my hands. It moves me towards a wholeness and awareness of things I see, touch, smell and handle. It can be mind-boggling to figure out the best place to store stuff. Yes, sometimes I struggle emotionally to say thank you and goodbye to old pre-loved stuff that served me so well. Yet overall I find a satisfaction in seeing rapid tangible results (in contrast to trying to solve church problems like late-coming worshippers): the room became tidy, the display looked pretty, the cupboards began to breathe, I see the changes and congratulate myself, “Well done!”.
I had a list of 29 things to do of which 9 have been done. Twenty more awaits my attention. One of them is painting the ceilings of the whole house, and the walls of two or three bedrooms. This will probably take the longest time, as I will do this in stages. I am no longer the 30 year old new house-owner who could paint the living room in half-a-day! And I belong to the generation that would rather save money and do the painting myself, rather than hire professionals to do it.
Its burdensome when I look at the list. But if I see it as part as my movement towards wholeness, towards development of the under-developed part of my person – the sensory – it helps cast a redemptive light on the strain and load. My mantra is “This is good for me”.
Lord, help me to see you in these mundane and dreary tasks. After all, You once worked with your hands and made things. You did it with pride and an eye to your Father’s praise. Help me to see You in all things, and to find meaning in doing the most uncomfortable, dirty, odious of chores.