“But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.” – Deuteronomy 4:29
Lately I have been doing some spring cleaning in my living space. It’s nice to get rid of old things and open the windows to let in the fresh spring air. I haven’t put away my winter clothes yet because I live in Boston (sometimes the weather here is unpredictable), but eventually my heavier clothes will be replaced by lighter jackets and sandals. I’ve been thinking a lot about my spiritual well-being in this context. Essentially, I am going through a spring cleaning for the soul. The reason we do spring cleaning is to get rid of stuff that takes up space, is getting old, and isn’t relevant. Spiritually speaking, I want to get rid of those things that keep me from devoting my whole soul to God.
First, I’m trying to simplify. This means getting rid of things I don’t need. Spiritually speaking, I need to rid myself of the clutter in my life that diverts my focus from what is most important. So step one has been to simplify my busy lifestyle and reduce time spent on less purposeful activities to make sure I can focus on priorities. I study the scriptures daily, for example, but I don’t make as much time as I should for reflection, meditation, and prayer.
“We busy ourselves with buildings and budgets and programs and procedures. In so doing, it is possible to overlook the very spirit of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” – Boyd K. Packer “This life became a probationary state; a time to prepare to meet God; a time to prepare for that endless state” – Alma 12:24
Second, I’m committing myself to repentance. I want to change behaviors that strain my relationships with others and with God. As I go through my closet and give away old clothes, I want to go through my heart and get rid of sins and bad habits to make room for a better spiritual wardrobe. This also means forgiving others, cleaning out the burdensome grudges and making room for love.
“And let him repent of all his folly and clothe himself with charity.” – Doctrine and Covenants 124:116 “And above all things, clothe yourselves with the bond of charity, as with a mantle, which is the bond of perfectness and peace.” – Doctrine and Covenants 88:125
Third, I want to open the windows of my soul and let in the fresh spring air of truth. I want to try new things, read more books, and invite new perspectives. I want to have an open mind and an open heart to ideas and truths that will enrich my life and allow me to enrich the lives of others and do God’s work.
“Study and learn, and become acquainted with all good books, and with languages, tongues, and people.” – Doctrine and Covenants 90:15 “Teach one another words of wisdom; yeah, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom, seek learning even by study and also by faith.” – Doctrine and Covenants 109:7 “Arouse the faculties of your souls; shake yourselves that ye may awake from the slumber of death.” – Jacob 3:11