There’s a flurry of new literature out there about making space in the clutter, both in our physical reality and our mental world. The Life-Changing Art of Tidying Up has made a difference in people’s lives, helping them to let go of material excess. One doesn’t have to be wealthy in America to feel inundated with stuff and yet never having enough (or the right sort of) things.
But even the jabber of the radio or social media, and the incessant demands of work, family, and life’s obligations. That’s where the book entitled Essentialism comes–a work about shifting the whole focus of your approach to life from one of responsive people-pleasing to intentional action. It is a subtle shift—moving from pursuit of more-more-more to the pursuit of what matters.
It’s easy to see a theme between these two books and why they resonate. It’s universally true that we need to make space for what’s important, by letting go of what is not. Our whole culture is cluttered, spiritually and materially. It is difficult to find space—space to be who we wholly are, who we are meant to be.
You know what also makes space? Prayer.
Let us pray, for prayer is the thing that makes space in the heart. With space in the heart comes the clarity needed for whole-hearted-prayerful action, orienting our mind, body, soul towards God.
“A wandering mind is made stable by reading, vigil and prayer. Flaming lust is extinguished by hunger, labor and solitude. Stirrings of anger are calmed by psalmody, magnanimity and mercifulness. All this has its effect when used at its proper time and in due measure. Everything untimely or without proper measure is short-lived; and short-lived things and more harmful than useful.”
— Abba Evagrius the Monk (Texts on Active Life no. 6)