28 Jan 2010

Making Just a Little More Room for God by Eliminating Déjà Vu

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I am striving this year to experience more contentment with less.  I want less stress, hurry, scurry, and stuff.  I want to make more space for stillness and being present to God.  That is taking some reordering of my priorities of time and space.  Freezer cooking was one of my first adventures into this.  It was quite successful.  For the past 12 days or so, I have eaten home cooked left overs and meals for nearly every lunch.  I finding that warming something in the kitchen at church and eating it there or at my dest is a much more satisfying experience, than dashing through a drive-thru for a meal that costs me time, money and health.  Eliminating déjà vu is another commitment that I have made to open some space for God.

So what do I mean by eliminating déjà vu?

I am horrifically bad about handling things like email, snail mail, and paper over and over again.  I skim mail and say, “I’ll deal with that later.”  I can find myself reading and rereading emails multiple times, just because I fail to act upon them or purge them immediately.  Then one day something snaps.  I realize I have something like 2500 emails just hanging out in my inbox and can’t stand it.  The result… I spend a marathon session of email purging.  It is a rather energy depleting task; particularly, if I find something I really should have acted upon weeks ago.  Nevertheless, it must be done, but couldn’t it be done differently.  The answer is a resounding, “YES.”

Each email quietly makes a slight demand on me.  But let’s face it, there are really only three things you can do with a piece of mail, toss it, refer it, or act on it. I have grown tired of the subtle constant tug of unprocessed mail. I am nowworking very hard at a “handle something only once” policy.  It used to be that physical clutter sucked away my energy and attention from God.  Now, can you believe it?  I have virtual clutter too!  Not only am I trying to handling things only once, but I am opting out of email lists to eliminate mail before it is even sent.

I am beginning to feel some effects of the shift.  I am having far less, “Haven’t I opened this email before?” moments.  Praise God.  I think I will praise God now that I have a little bit more time.  What about you?  Is virtual clutter needlessly draining your time and energy?  Do you cling to old email or snail mail only to find yourself handling it multiple times?  Join me in eliminating déjà vu, by committing to only handling things once.  I am sure you won’t regret it.

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