Sifting and Sorting
I discovered a box in my basement closet that had been there since we moved in more than eight years ago. At the very end of unpacking and finding homes for all of our things, I put a handful of odd items in a box and shoved it into a dark corner of our home: laundry basket covers, an unused hammock, a nylon lunch bag, a paint roller with an unusual texture and still in the wrapper.
It was our first home and my husband and I had a baby with another on the way. It felt like we would spend the rest of our lives in that house. I needed to fill up the empty spaces, to collect and grow the physical substance of our family life. Anything that might be useful must be saved and stored. It seemed like the practical waste-not-want-not thing to do.
My family moved this past week. It now seems silly that I didn’t drop those items off at the thrift store long ago. Eventually, they were just more things in the way of transitioning from one house to another.
Over the years, I have collected many beliefs in my personal house of faith. Some were mine, some gifted to me, some of unknown origin that I kept anyway. Some I encountered and never wanted, but they latched on and would not go. This assortment of beliefs made up the flavor of my spiritual life. I had my relationship with God at the core and all of these other mismatched ideas swirled around that, influencing and distorting my perception of God.
I am also in the middle of moving house, faith-wise. It isn’t a process that is completed in a week or a month, and there are no movers to help you get from the old dwelling to the new one. Like a lifetime’s worth of saved Primary, Young Women, and Relief Society handouts, I have a lot of religion junk, junk religion to throw away or recycle.
In this painful-yet-liberating season of sifting and sorting, I am prizing my agency to choose and reject and to not know. I’m not sure where I’m moving to, but I think I am becoming a spiritual minimalist. I will live in a tiny house of belief, where only the basics surround me, the essential tools of God, the goodness of Jesus, and compassion. It will be enough.