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Every January, I go through all my files, both paper and electronic, and get rid of things I no longer need. This year I went a step further and decided I didn't really need to keep every birthday card or concert program I've ever had, so I ended tossing about two garbage bags full of nothing but paper. I'm in the process of moving things from my current church computer to the new one, and the same cleaning is happening. Sometimes you just need to get rid of the clutter.

Clutter can interfere with what really matters in more ways than one. The most obvious hang-up is that it can tie up space you need for new things. Yes, you may one day need to refer to that newspaper clipping about the funny hedgehog from May 11, 1973, but what are the odds -- and don't you think you should hang on to your daughter's name in the Dean's List column in today's paper instead? By getting rid of the old, we can make room for the new.

As stuff, so experiences. That's the second way clutter can interfere with our lives: it can keep us living in the past instead of the present. Everything we keep has a memory attached to it, some moment where the item in question was significant. If we constantly live there, dwelling in the times of our clutter, do we have time to focus on what's important today? Many of us have spiritual clutter along these lines: we have a hard time forgiving ourselves, so we keep bringing up past sins or mistakes over and over again.

God, in His love and faithfulness, casts our sins from us as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). We don't need to keep reminding ourselves of things God has forgiven and taken from us. How much clutter is in your life? What things need to be let go? Pray today for the strength and the wisdom to kick out the clutter and make room for the love of a Savior.

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