I wonder if your house has one? One what? A junk room of course. You know, a room where you can just close the door and walk away.
If you have small kids (or bigger kids for that matter), you’ll probably know what I mean. It’s hard to keep a house clean. What’s wrong with having a room where all the junk is stored? How many of us men have got a men’s shed full of junk? Of course, we would never admit to it being junk. It’s all very valuable—just in case we need it.
Our House Junk
If you have an attic, so much the better. A great place for storing junk. Out of the way. No-one tripping over stuff. Or maybe the shed if it’s big enough. But the reality is that others have a whole house full of clutter. Some of us have a real problem parting with anything—we would prefer to keep them. But where do we put them? Piling them up in the corner of your lounge room is hardly a good decision. Sometimes kids’ toys spill out of the bedrooms into the hallway, kitchen and into their parents room.
According to Psychology Today, people tend to feel like life is out-of-control when they surround themselves with more things than they can manage. The mess causes stress. If you’re not taking care of the clutter in your home, you may not be taking care of yourself either. I think there’s a lot to be said for this.
How do you feel when you walk into a cluttered room? I’m sure it causes the stress levels to go up. Where’s my space here? There isn’t any. I have no room, and I feel pressured. I don’t mind visiting you for a little while, but I’d hate to live in your house.
Our Inner Junk
Did you know our inner life can be a trap for residing junk too? Our minds can end up being full of junk. We have to be careful what we feed our minds, what we watch, say, listen to and what we think. Living in a house that is full of clutter, junk and mess is not a pleasant experience. When you go into a space that is clear, clean and orderly, there is a certain experience of clarity that comes over you.
It’s the same with the mind if it’s clear and free of junk—then it’s a pleasant place to reside. So what would define junk in the mind?
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- Increased distraction
But the modern world with instant information can lead to clutter of the mind as well. Years ago if we wanted to find out what’s happening, we’d listen for the hourly news bulletin or sit down with a cup of coffee and read the day’s newspaper. But today it’s all changed. We have 24-hour news online—a constant stream of information from all over the world coming at us constantly. It can be a bit off-putting. Social media is great, but it can add to pressure as we think about issues, sorting out the junk from the worthwhile information.
The Bible has a bit to say about the mind and how to protect it—and stop it from getting overloaded. There’s a great verse in Proverbs 4:23: “Be careful how you think. Your life is shaped by your thoughts.” That’s quite a challenge. I believe God’s Word is true. And that means we need to take steps to take back control of our thought life.
And that’s a huge topic. If you’re afraid you can’t do something, then you won’t. Your thoughts run your life! Some of us are ruled by the tyranny of the urgent, rather than what is important. Slow down, or you won’t have time to look at the bigger picture of your life. You might be missing out on so much. Get rid of the junk. Negative thoughts are affecting your mood and behaviour—far more than you probably realise.
(Read The Junk Room – Part 2)