Wednesday, March 11, 2009

the poor

Recently my brother has had an obsession with 'de-cluttering his life'. Its a kind of self-help sub-movement that takes simplicity to its furthest end (well as much as is possible in Western Society). He found it by googling 'de-clutter your life'.

When I think of all the rubbish he has shed in the last month or so since this new fetish began, I am increasingly envious of his new found freedom. I mean, lets acknowledge it for truth... our possessions do become a burden. I understand 'the weight' of rooms full of gear that I don't know how to order or even cherish. Yet I am unable to let go of many of the possessions I have that hold sentimental value for me. And I partially regret the purges I have forced myself to make at different times in my life.

I want to hold on to things.

This is true in my spiritual life also. Spiritual 'poverty' is a real freedom. When you know you are spiritually poor you don't need to have the answers, you don't need to appear to have been good. There is no such thing as trying to keep up appearances. The only thing required of the spiritually poor is confession and a readiness to receive what God has for them, whether it be a job to do, a person to respond to or just a lesson in hardship or grace...

What is it in me that resists being 'poor'?

"What make’s this harder for us is that the more clearly we see ‘His glorious goodness’, the more clearly we see ourselves. Being confronted by our proud, lazy, demanding, trivial and pleasure seeking self in the light of the Father’s goodness is very uncomfortable, even painful. Something in us hates being ‘poor in spirit’ for all the wrong reasons! We have to fight hard against the temptation to ignore or drown out the quiet awareness His Spirit brings. It’s more natural to reach for excuses or anaesthetic than to genuinely confess."

Peter Volkofsky 2006

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