Michelle (M): I attended a recollection last weekend and one of the things that we were asked to reflect on was Psalm 51:10: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.“ Because we are sometimes too busy, we forget to take stock of how we are doing and how we really are. But if we make an inventory of how we see ourselves and we are honest enough to see what needs cleansing, freeing or uncluttering in our lives, then we can better assess our priorities, our needs as against our wants.

Click here for Election 2010 updates

Darwin John (DJ): Having a personal cleanup gives us also more room for new beginnings. Part of it is letting go of what can’t be to make way for what can be. Of course it’s nice to persevere, to hold on, to keep on going. That’s what love is about. But there’s got to be a point when loving means to let go of control, to allow others to face their own reality and to make their own destinies.

Even if doing all that can mean we’re no longer part of them. Sometimes, it’s when we allow others to live their own lives when we also begin to live our own.

M: In A Clean Heart by Joyce Rupp, she wrote something that struck me. “Create in me a clean heart, brushed free of frantic busyness, so that I will have time to dwell with you in the listening space of solitude and silence.”

Do you find yourself spreading yourself too thinly that you seem to do everything but actually accomplish very little? Or do you find yourself anxious about your circumstances—the present, past and future?

It is needless to worry about our past and we really don’t know what the future holds. It will be well to dwell in the here and now, savor the moment, and appreciate the present for the gift that it is.

DJ: And sometimes, life has a way of freeing us from burdens. It’s been said that when Thomas Edison was 67 years old, his laboratory was destroyed by fire. That broke his son’s heart because he thought his father was no longer a young man, and he lost practically almost everything he worked for so hard all his life. But his dad taught him an important lesson when he said: “There is great value in disaster. All our mistakes were burned up. Now we can start anew.”

Three weeks after the fire, Edison delivered his first phonograph. In our lives, how many times did we experience a loss—a relationship, a job opportunity—that eventually turned out to be for the better? That’s why part of having a clean heart and mind is learning how and when to let go.

M: The day after the recollection, I did some serious un-cluttering and purging. I cleaned out our closet and discovered that I had several bags that I have been keeping and some I have never used. So I gathered them and placed them in a sack.

I am going to sell them or give them away. It feels good to unload stuff we don’t need or use so we can free our closet, clean the space and use it for storing the more important things that we actually use. Same with our hearts.

As Joyce Rupp wrote, if we rinse off the residue of false messages about our identity, enabling our inner goodness and light to shine through all that we are and do, we will be restored to an enduring faith in God’s abiding presence and unconditional love.

DJ: Let’s strive to cut away the noise, even for a few minutes, for us to have room to think more clearly. After spending much time thinking about having the courage to change something or someone, find time to think about how to have the serenity to accept the things or people we cannot change. Have a blessed and meaningful holy week.

(E-mail us at ssinglestalk@yahoo.com)