American Pickers & Simplicity

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             Have you ever seen an episode of American Pickers? The show is about two guys in a nice paneled truck that travel about the countryside looking in people’s barns and attics for collectibles that they can purchase to resell. They usually end up in a garage or barn that hasn’t been disturbed for years. They step on or over all kinds of memorabilia covered with decades of dust. With a flashlight in hand, they search for just the right antique toy, gas station sign, or slice of history that they can talk about and even profit from retailing. Once they see it, the negotiation begins to purchase it.  

             Life is like American Pickers sometimes. People are searching for efficiency and simplicity but seem to dance around layers of junk that really needs to be taken to the landfill. Does your heart need to be decluttered? Does your mind need a cleaning out? Does the crawlspace in your soul need some fresh air?    

           Sometimes life is too complex because its cluttered up with ideologies, hurts, stereotypes, or even bitterness. Simplicity isn’t always about over-commitment or busyness. The simple life is a life without a cluttered heart. The simple, liberated life necessitates a cleansed conscience void of unresolved issues with others. What has been imprinted into your thinking for years now? What unhealthy, biased, unmerited opinions have been placed in you that keep you from being free?     

  • You can go ahead and budget your time and money better to remove complexities in life, but failure to declutter relational issues just leaves you walking around with pocket money while staying weighed down and unsettled.
  • You can adopt a new time management system in life, but failure to allocate time to resolve inner-conflicts just leaves you punctual but ever-so-complex and anxious.
  • You can condense and simplify the mission for your business but never be about the Father’s business. Outward simplicity is good but inward simplicity is crucial.

         One of my favorite coffee cups is a burnt orange in color on the outside and the inside is white. If I fail to thoroughly wash the inside, it gets brownish with a ring of gross coffee scum on the sides. Let’s push to not just walk about the clutter in our lives as we search for true treasures, but let’s actually discard the clutter that keeps us from living the simplistic, centered, liberated lives that Christ called us to enjoy.

          “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness (Matt. 23:27-28).

         Jesus seems annoyed in that passage. Of course, He is annoyed. He wants us relationally freed up and unrestricted. He wants us pliable and teachable instead of rigid and proud. Maybe today is a good day to take out some trash? Keep looking for simplicity but do so without the complexity of “white-knuckling” grudges, hurts, betrayals, and misunderstandings. You are worth decluttering your way to simplicity today. Declutter today. Resolve issues that keep you complex. Love more, forgive more, and enjoy lightheartedness for the glory of God.     

-Dr. Gary Hewins


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