Less Is More
As stores began to reopen after this springs’ shutdown, I was surprised at how much my shopping experience had changed. The typical overflowing shelves, narrow aisles, and abundance of options had been replaced by wide aisles with sparingly stocked shelves and racks. The stores seemed so open and empty, and my first reaction was dissatisfaction. They had so much less to offer! I was so accustomed to browsing through unending options of flavors, sizes, and brands – how was I going to find what I needed or wanted with so much less to choose from?
But then I realized how grateful I was just to finally be able to be in the stores again, and how happy store employees were to be working again. It didn’t seem to matter so much that they had fewer customers and limited stock. And I found myself taking time to enjoy the process – it was so nice to not be overwhelmed with too many choices, to actually see everything they had without digging through over-crowded bins and racks. I took more time to enjoy and be satisfied with less.
So why not at home, too? I purged some closets, pantries, and cabinets and found lots of things that had cluttered up my space. Why did I still have so much of this stuff that I did not need, did not want and really had no use for? I also found a few things that were very important to me that had been covered up and forgotten. It felt so good to see less and appreciate more. It was such a satisfying process!
My calendar had also been de-cluttered – everything was cancelled! No concerts, no connect groups, no trips to visit family, no nights at the movies… but I found myself enjoying things I thought I no longer had time for – stepping out to see the sunset every night, long phone calls with friends, 1,000-piece puzzles, trying new recipes, and just having time to relax and enjoy my family. There was no more rushing, no more frantic pace, no more running from place to place. I realized that I wasn’t as exhausted, and I had more time to share with the people in my life. I was satisfied with the simplicity.
And then it started to hit me… I had gotten caught up in our culture’s lie that more is better, that we can’t be satisfied until we have what is bigger and better. But what I really need is less: less of me, more of Christ.
“He must increase, but I must decrease”John 3:30
The truth is that it was much easier to clean out those closets and clear my calendar. But taking an honest look at my personal spiritual life? This one is hard! There are a lot of things that need to be tossed out, cleaned up and prioritized so that my days are not filled with my own clutter, but filled with more of Christ. He is the only One who truly satisfies.
If you are like me, you need daily reminders that less-truly-is-more! So the next time you see that empty shelf in the store, or have one more event cancelled, try not to be dissatisfied. Instead, let John 3:30 encourage you, because nothing is more satisfying than more of Jesus.
He must increase, but I must decrease. Less truly is more!