The last of the shirts: the infamous t-shirt. This was indeed the largest portion of my wardrobe, but having built up a head of steam it wasn’t too hard to tackle. In total there was 42 of these puppies strewn throughout the room and just getting them in one place was a chore unto itself.

When I’m at home I live in t-shirts. First thing every day I put on some comfortable pants and a t-shirt and go about the rest of my day. Not only that but there are some shirts that I picked up, or had made for me, along the way that had some sentimental attachment. Thankfully there were only two such shirts, which I promptly set aside to keep on hand. I don’t even where them any more (one was a shirt that my in-laws made for our honeymoon which proudly states that fact on it) but I know that I’m not ready to part with them either.

With the preliminaries out-of-the-way the next part was seeing what fit. Sadly, all but three shirts fit! Well that made things tougher. So I separated them into long-sleeved and short-sleeved. Six were long so I simply picked my least favorite and tossed it on the pile. Next I had to make a mental list of what I wanted from my shirts: in good condition (except for those that would be used around the house), comfortable, and a pattern or image that I really liked. So I tackled the pile again and this time managed to weed it down to fifteen; five of those were for working in the yard or painting, and the rest would be for everyday playing around the house. 42 down to 21, not horrible and I may pair things down more latter but we’ll see.

So after a week of going through just shirts what was the end tally:

  • Total number of shirts: 132
  • New total: 50
  • Empty hangers: ~20

Ah space. First I have to say that I’m pretty embarrassed by the number of shirts I started with. 132 is just insane; literally! Why on earth did I have that many shirts? If each of those shirts cost even $14.99 that’s $1,978.68. That’s almost two mortgage payments right there! Or three months worth of credit card payments! What in the name of heaven was I thinking?

Sin. Plan and simple this exercise has shown me an area of sin that I wasn’t even aware of. I didn’t think myself to be overly materialistic, after all my mind was telling me that it’s just stuff. This really helped put Romans 7 into perspective:

For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Romans 7:22-23

My flesh just kept telling me that it wasn’t that bad. Sure I had some stuff but lots of people had way more, I’m probably in the average range. Clearly I was not, at least in my opinion about average.

Was there more I could have gotten rid of? Sure, but getting rid of 63% was sure a nice start. I may make another pass and see if there is more I can do, but for now that is a good start. There has also been another good side effect, I’ve been more productive in other areas of the house as well. More dishes have been cleaned, laundry done and actually put away, floors swept, ceiling fans cleaned! I’m not saying this to say how great I am; rather to point out how making a positive change in one area bleeds over into other areas.

This is a principle which we can apply to our spiritual life as well. Start by making a simple, little commitment to doing something daily. Maybe you really struggle in your prayer life. Most people I know have jobs outside their home, and most of those employers give them two 15 minute breaks and a thirty minute lunch. Why not start by taking one of those breaks and spending time in prayer. The same goes for Bible study, sharing the gospel, or any other spiritual discipline.

I’m taking Sunday off from my cleaning spree and enjoying time with my family at home and at church. But come Monday, I’m ready to tackle some more and continue to pursue the life that Christ has for me in every area of my life.

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