Over the last couple months I was the benefactor of some great coaching. During my last session, my goal was to explore how I could remove clutter in my life. Clutter can come in many forms – physical clutter, mental clutter even relational or spiritual clutter. My focus initially was physical. I am not the most tidy guy in the world (read: sloppy). I will probably never become a neat freak, but I wanted to make some improvements in this area of my life.
Towards the end of my coaching session, I heard the gentle whisper of the Spirit say, “Tyranny of the Urgent”. I had heard this phrase before and after my coaching phone call googled the term. It was at that time I realized Tyranny of the Urgent is a classic booklet by Charles E. Hummel. So I downloaded this small read and began to devour it knowing that God had dropped this gem into my lap. After reading it the first time through, I made a commitment to read it once a week for a month and try to put into practice the ideas presented in it.
The gist of this book is that many of us live our lives running from one “urgent” thing to the next and we end up not accomplishing the main purposes God has for us. Jesus on the other hand was able to say at the end of his life, “I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.” (John 17:4) The author raises a good question. How was Jesus able to finish the work he was meant to do when his life came to an end at such a young age?
The answer is simple. He only did what He knew the Father wanted him to do – nothing more, nothing less.
While the answer may be simple, it is the working out of this dynamic that can be more challenging. How do we narrow down our scope of activities to only do the things God wants us to do? I believe this is a process that takes some concerted effort and time. Hummel suggests several steps in the process which I am trying to now apply to my own life: decide what’s important, see where you are spending your time, budget your time, follow through, evaluate, repeat.
Over the course of the last several weeks I have begun to remove some of the clutter of my life and define what is most important. As a result, my vision has become so much clearer! I now realize that many of my prayers for greater clarity were answered when I removed unnecessary clutter in my life. My decision making has become more deliberate and I have gained greater strength in saying “No”. As I have begun to prune some of the proverbial branches on my tree, I am starting to see that my life is becoming more fruitful, not less. (John 15:2) I really believe this life change is going to help me accomplish my God given life goals!
If you feel like your life is an unending whirlwind, if your thinking is not as clear as you would like, or your life is not bearing the fruit you desire to see, I have a challenge for you begin removing the clutter in your life. You may want to consider downloading Tyranny of the Urgent and reading it over for several weeks. Or, if you’d like to have some coaching to help you work through any of these areas of your own life, feel free to reach out to me. Whatever way you choose to apply this truth is up to you, but know this: Less Clutter equals Greater Clarity.
How would things change if you had absolutely no clutter and 100% clarity in every area of your life?