Russell’s Monthly Newsletter – February 2019

February 2019

Dear Friend’s

It is always good when you have known about something wonderful or fascinating, like a good book or TV series, that others eventually catch on to and enjoy as well.  I discovered Marie Kondo and the ‘konmari’ method of tidying and de-cluttering a couple of years ago but now she is getting mentioned even on the BBC news because her approach has ‘gone viral’.  Charity shops are being inundated with donations as people get rid of unwanted clothes and other items.  They put this down to Marie Kondo and her recent series, sadly only shown on Netflix, entitled ‘Tidying Up’ where she challenges families to attempt her ‘KonMari’ method’, tidying by category, not by location. They begin with clothes, then move to books, papers, komono (miscellaneous items), and, finally, sentimental items.

Her advice? ‘Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy. Thank them for their service – then let them go.’ She challenges the families she works with: ‘there are three approaches we can take toward our possessions: face them now, face them sometime, or avoid them until the day we die.’

It’s a stark message, but the popularity of Kondo’s approach across social media and in homes around the world alerts us to the fact that it resonates with people. It gels with an understanding that our lives are too full of clutter, that we feel overwhelmed by ‘stuff’, and that, above all, we should be seeking joy. Watching some of her families struggling with the process, it is clear sometimes the things we are holding on to, whether physical, mental, or emotional, can hold us back. We have too much ‘baggage’ filling our spaces and keeping us from joy, or sharing our joy.

It’s an age-old question, isn’t it? Where can I find joy? What will give me true, deep, lasting satisfaction? Getting rid of ‘stuff’? Using and keeping only the things that give me a good feeling?

The Christian message is one that points to the ultimate source of joy not as something but as someone – the creator of joy himself. And joy is a fruit of the Spirit – an outworking of God in us.

So the challenging question to ask is: Where will you find joy? By all means accept or reject the ‘konmari’ method of sorting out your sock drawer (mine is so much more organised now!) but please let us all be people who spark joy and who point others towards the true source of joy itself.

Sparking joy, wherever we are, because of the one who sparks joy in us.

With love and prayers, Russell

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