Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Frank Lloyd Wright Robie House---Chicago, IL

Thirty spokes share the wheel’s hub; It is the center hole that makes it useful.
Shape clay into a vessel; It is the space within that makes it useful.
Cut doors and windows for a room; It is the holes that make it useful.
Therefore, benefit comes from what is there; Usefulness from what is not there.
--Tao Te Ching by Lao Tsu

In the Hindu tradition there are five elements: earth, water, fire, air, and space.
Space is often the element that is overlooked, and it is the one we yearn for – the one where we feel at home. Without space, there would be no place for the other elements to manifest themselves.

Knowing that unused stuff that was acquired at one time is no longer needed, but can be essential to someone less blessed, makes it very easy to part with and pass along. Have you ever had the experience of clearing out the home of an older parent whose life has been transitioned from independent living to assisted living? It’s amazing to see just how much material stuff is no longer necessary. Life can truly be reduced to a very limited number of essentials and an even fewer number of nonessentials—and life goes on quite smoothly!

Isn’t it interesting that in this world where the mantra seems to be, “He who dies with the most stuff, wins”, Jesus left behind exactly nothing of this world for history. He built a kingdom based on relationships, not material things.

Clearing out the extraneous anxieties that occupy our minds and all the extra stuff that occupies the deepest reaches of our closets can indeed be a very refreshing and liberating experience. By liberating this space in our lives, we simplify and actually enrich the quality of our life!

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