We have a three car garage and can’t fit in one car.  The freezer, lawn mower, furniture that needs to be sold, power washer and woodworking area have expanded to crowd out any hope of parking my car.  It’s full.

When my aunt died and the family needed to sell her house, we went into her garage and discovered one narrow path from door to freezer with boxes stacked everywhere else from floor to ceiling.  It was full.

Sometimes one of my art students stops attending classes because their days are filled with school, dance, soccer, baseball, karate or swimming lessons.  Their schedules are full.

Several years ago when a person was alone and talking out loud, they were considered crazy.  Now they are merely talking on their cell and when they hang up, Pandora is their companion.  Their ears are full.

I’m not saying any of these things are bad, it’s just that our lives are full to overflowing with items we don’t need; noise that keeps us from thinking; our identities are defined by how busy we are.  We have so many responsibilities, so many things, so many opportunities and so many activities we don’t have room for knowing ourselves or knowing God.  How do we make room to reflect or make space to even think?

The first step is to really want to make room, to see the need to create quiet space.  The second step is to delete something in order to make room for retreat, reflection and restoration.  The third is to be intentional and take time to look for beauty and kindness.  Because our lives are so full of calendars and belongings, we have to let go of something to reserve space for anything new.  Peace doesn’t push its way in and renewal won’t be squeezed into a time slot.  Cutting back on TV, or shopping, or sleep to create time for quiet reflection might be one solution.  Slowing down to observe life’s details can bring a sense of calmness and peace. Studying a painting or creating art can re-align priorities.

I suppose the question needs to be answered, “Do I want to know my purpose, do I long for fulfillment and can I live without inner peace?”  What am I willing to let go to make room?  Tell me how you de-clutter and center down…I really want to know.