BHAY Blog #3: Kondo? Can Do, sort of.

An old sermon that may or may not be heading for the recycling bin. It may spark too much joy for me to let it go, but then again, do I want to carry it with me into the future?

So far my Big Hairy Audacious Year has involved my Big toe, two Hairy cats, and tomorrow will include some Audaciously hopeful recycling. I repurposed two ideas from Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

After following the FlyLady’s routines for several months late in 2018, I spent New Year’s Day binge-watching Marie Kondo’s videos about tidying up, and was inspired to try it myself. I was confident I could do it. I had been following the routines after all. Not only did I feel up to the challenge, but I felt I could do it better than those people in the video. So instead of sorting clothes then books, I gathered up all my books, and all my clothes put them in two separate piles and started trying to discern which items sparked joy in me.

Overwhelm overtook me within a few hours because it turns out, almost everything sparks joy in me. A year later, I’m still working through the piles of clothes and books that can be found throughout the house after I divided the massive stack of books and the huge heap of clothes into smaller, slightly more manageable lumps of stuff.

The KonMari method works for many, but not for me. However, I did appropriate two ideas from Ms. Kondo: one, I say, “thank you” to things when I let them go. It feels better somehow to acknowledge the item’s part of my life, and that gives me permission to let it go. Second, if you ask me what sparks joy in me, you will get the answer, “everything.” I like things, I may have a problem. So I seized on Ms, Kondo’s follow-up question to someone who also struggled with the joy question, “Do you want to take this with you into the future?” That question reframed my decision-making.

So tomorrow I shall do something audacious. I’m going to put some of the hard copies of many of my sermons into my pile of recyclables, along with other papers from my past such as newspaper clippings about the Philadelphia Phillies and papers I wrote for college and seminary. It’s hard to let them go: some of the papers and sermons got compliments or positive feedback, they are tangible links to my past and give me a sense of significance But that’s not enough for me to need to them with me in the future. Kon

You may not have stacks of old sermons or newspaper clippings, but maybe you have presentations that you made, lectures you gave, patterns from outfits you sewed or plans from the now-finished kitchen remodel. Do you feel lighter or heavier when you look at them? Would it give you pleasure to pack them and carry them with you into the future, or would you feel better if you could say “thank you” and let them go?

I don’t know what the future holds, but I know Who holds the future, and I know that wherever my future path takes me, I want to travel lightly, and a little audaciously. I want to enjoy the journey instead of sighing every time I think of packing papers. So I invite you to ask the same question as you sort and declutter, “Is this something that I want to take into the future with me?” It’s a question worth answering.

My BHAY has been full of surprises so far but what in 2020 has gone as expected. With our Covid-ridden world in mind, I offer today’s poem/prayer, especially for the last two lines which express how many of us will spend this season of celebrations, including Christmas: “And thus we hold afar/The things we love the best.”


    By Fannie Isabelle Sherrick 

    I wonder what they are,
        These pretty, wayward things,
    That o'er the gloomy earth
        The wind of heaven flings.
    Each one a tiny star,
        And each a perfect gem;
    What magic in the art
        That thus has fashioned them.
    What beauty in the flake
        That falls upon my hand;
    And yet this tiny thing
        My will cannot command.
    No two are just alike,
        And yet they are the same;
    I wonder if my thought
        Could give to each a name.
    Unlike the fragile flowers
        That love the sun's warm rays,
    These snow-flakes love the cold,
        And die on sunny days!
    So dainty and so pure,
        How beautiful they are;
    And yet the slightest touch
        Their purity may mar.
    They must be gazed upon,
        Not handled or caressed;
    And thus we hold afar
        The things we love the best.

Grace and peace to you,


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