Over the past year or two, I’ve been fighting a serious battle. Even if you know me well, you wouldn’t be aware of it. I’ve only recently been able to put language around it myself.
All kinds of symptoms have surfaced, but I’m realizing the root is the same.
The problem I’m referring to is a cluttered and overwhelmed soul.
Depending on what you’re dealing with, that may not sound like a big deal. Even so, I’m sure you can relate.
We live in a world of unlimited choices, infinite connections, and limitless options. This can certainly be a blessing, but it can also be a curse.
Just because we can be constantly connected doesn’t mean we should.
Hurry, distraction, and busyness is leaving us feeling overwhelmed, fragmented, and aimless. We want to live purposeful lives but we’re having to fight the pull thousands of marketing messages per day. Every time we turn on our phone we have to avoid the temptation to compare our seemingly “average” lives with social media influencers. And that’s not to mention the instant access we have to endless entertainment 24/7.
I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of having my mood dictated by a social media algorithm. I’m sick of letting my phone steal my joy. And I’m exhausted by my soul’s constant desire for “more” and the pressure caused by comparison.
All of this complexity has created a craving in me for simplicity — even with my faith.
I want the peace and joy that I know is mine through Christ, but the realities of my responsibilities often leave me feeling overwhelmed and overstretched — that’s not to mention the regret I feel about all of the things I feel like I should be doing that I’m not.
All of this finally came to a boiling point recently. I had finally reached my limit when God reminded me of a verse that he imprinted on my heart several years ago. At the time, I was facing a big decision and was struggling on how to move forward. The verse I’m referring to is Matthew 6:33. In the NIV it reads, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well…”
At the time, I read that verse as confirmation for doing something big that I had felt God had been calling me to do. But now a few years later I’m seeing this verse with a new perspective in a way that is bringing healing to my soul.
Rather than just seeking God’s will first in big decisions, I’m realizing that “seeking Him first” is something that I’ve been neglecting to do in the small, everyday things. Of course I should seek God first in an overarching sense, but what matters just as much is my pursuit of Him moment by moment.
I think the reason I can often feel overwhelmed and anxious, is not just because I’m doing too much, but rather I’m doing too much without intentionality and purpose.
I mistake all of my “doing” as evidence that I’m aligned with God’s vision for my life. In reality, I’m often walking blind. I’m going through the motions and letting clutter envelope my soul. Rather than taking every thought captive, I’m allowing my thoughts and feelings to take me captive.
This realization sparked a journey that I’m still on today. I have a lifetime to go in learning to live a more intentional, vision-driven life, but I’m trying to remind myself as often as possible that no one has ever lived a more intentional, vision-driven life than Jesus.
He understood things at the deepest level possible, yet He communicated in ways that anyone could understand. He knew who He was, what He was here for, and He lived every moment with that end in mind.
The size of His mission didn’t limit Him. Rather, it provided Him with laser focus.
He healed in a variety of creative ways. Traveled from nation to nation. Spoke to crowds of thousands. Walked on water. And spread a mission that is still spreading today.
This is why I don’t think we really need to do less; rather we need to do more of what matters.
We don’t need to just declutter our closets. We need to declutter our souls.
We don’t simply need to hack our behaviors, habits, and practices — we need to become new creations in Christ and receive a new heart from which those practices can flow from.
Above all, we need to live with clearer priorities and more intentionality.
We need to stop. To slow down. To ask for wisdom. To be present and to process things with God’s Spirit. To make choices that don’t just make us feel good, but are good.
I don’t believe there’s a perfect solution or formula for fighting this battle, but I do feel a very real conviction for taking it seriously.
So what do we do from here?
Well, I think the first step is recognizing there’s a problem, but I believe the next step is to exercise your faith in the direction of a solution.
So that’s what I’m doing. I’m not an expert on the topic, but I am committed to decluttering my soul and living out God’s vision for my life. I’ve been writing on this blog since 2014, but I don’t know that I’ve ever felt such urgency to write on something this specific.
With that said, I’m in the process of refocusing my blog to better reflect the journey God had been taking me on. Hopefully, what I’ll be sharing will encourage you in your own everyday battles with feeling overstretched, overwhelmed, and anxious.
I’ll be writing more about the topics I care the most about. Things like authenticity, purpose, priority, and intentionality. If any of this is resonating, I’d love to hear from you.
If you’re constantly fighting back distraction. If you feel like you’re in a never ending battle against hurry. If you’re soul often feels overwhelmed and overstretched, I hope you’ll join me on this journey.
Let’s fight this battle together. I think our future selves will thank us.