Keep or Toss
When our kids were little they accumulated tons of things without even trying. Toys, books, games. Twigs, rocks, shells. Drawings, crafts, things that defied categorization.
So my wife invented the game “Keep or Toss”.
The rules are simple. Any time she decided the kids’ rooms needed de-cluttering she’d call them in, pick up anything that was not put away and ask a simple three-word question “Keep, or toss?”
Here’s the fun part: If our son or daughter said “Keep” they had to find a place to put it. They ended up saying “Toss” a lot.
Oh! the mirth this game engendered in us all.
Brian Gardner’s recent post on de-cluttering brought that game to mind. He talks about tossing out the clutter in your home and the things that clutter your mind. His tips are helpful, although it’s up to you to find the specifics for what you need to toss in your own life.
It might even work at my office:
I think our spiritual lives can benefit from a good round of Keep or Toss sometimes and, as my kids found, sometimes it’s important to find a place to keep some things too:
If you are over-committed at church, it might be time to toss a ministry or two (or three or more). Then again, there are some you might definitely want to keep and you know from the rules of the game that this means you have to find room for those ministries.
If your prayer time, Bible reading, journaling or other personal spiritual practice is falling behind whatever schedule you set for yourself, you might need to look at letting go of something and then make a place for those you decide to keep.
If everyone around you clamors for your attention – friends, family, boyfriends and girlfriends, bosses and co-workers, professors and classmates – so that you feel you never have a moment’s rest, you definitely need to turn to the One whose desire for your undivided attention leads not to exhaustion but to sustaining you in all you do.
Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. (Psalm 51:22.)
Remember, you are God’s righteous child because of what Jesus has already accomplished for you. There is no effort you need add in order to be eternally sustained in the hand of God. (John 10:28-29.)
Only you know the clutter that keeps you from enjoying the life God has given you. Whatever it is, I suggest a rousing game of Keep or Toss.
Here’s how to know what to keep:
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8.)
Anything that falls outside that?