“Again, I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” – Matthew 19:24 (NRSV)
Marie Kondo became a TV sensation by helping people declutter. She was not a hit in her home country of Japan, where tidying up and paring down comes more naturally than in the United States of Hoarders.
While the diminutive Kondo is a master minimalist, I think her real products are the joy and relief that come from being unburdened. If her clients didn’t have faith in that outcome, they wouldn’t let her in the door.
Jesus said it’s hard to get a camel through the humble door of the kingdom. A camel was not only a sign of affluence—it was the ancient equivalent of a U-Haul. Likewise, we have been conditioned by religion and consumerism (also a religion) to believe we need something outside of ourselves to be saved or made complete, which only adds to our clutter.
The faith needed for a spirituality of subtraction is not necessarily faith in God, which can be a blessing or another burden depending on one’s definition of God. The faith we need is trusting that we are God’s children, heirs of the kingdom. Nothing else is required.
I came into this world with nothing. I will leave with nothing. In the meantime, just for today, I lay my burdens down.