We all at some point come to the crisis of a cluttered and busy life. We need a reset that will
clean off the mess and answer the difficult questions: What am I supposed to be pursuing in
life, and what am I doing in life?
Cluttered & hijacked life
Our kitchen table is a heavy thick slab of American hardwood strips. It is made from the
flooring of an antique train. Only the hardest wood could stand up to fifty plus years of heavy
cargo. It takes four sturdy steel legs to hold up this mass of timber. It is the perfect material for
a kitchen table. Not only is it massive and study but it looks like you could park a car on its top.
It is maybe 10 plus feet long and at least four feet wide.
Out dinner table will seat eight people comfortably. Why such a big table? Because we have a
very big family, we have three biological children and three adopted kids, that span from the
ages of 9 years to 23 years. If you include my wife, Stacey, and myself seven people live in our
home, and we make it a practice of sharing tons of family moments seated at our table. At the
end of the day, everyone sitting down together, sharing food, and the day’s stories is a very
This old table sees as much cargo today as it did when it was a train floor. It is the place where
school projects are created. It is where games are played. It is where, at times, the extra stuff
in our hands that we have nowhere to put is laid down. It is also a place where laptops, tablets,
and books are read. It is a place where we drink coffee and talk. It’s a place where big
decisions are laid out and decided. It is a place where heavy conversations are had. It’s a place
of sharing. It’s a place that has seen its share of tears. It has seen more than a few birthday
cakes, Thanksgiving turkeys, and Christmas dinners. Of all the furniture that stands under the
roof of our home, our kitchen table is the most important.
Time to “reset”
With all this activity truly, there are times that the clutter of left-over assignments, unclaimed
cups, and plates, as well as the laptop that didn’t get put up, makes it impossible for even this
huge table to host the meal it was created to hold up. When this happens, usually a call goes
out through the house to all that have contributed to come and clean up what has been left.
It is time to “reset” our table. Resetting includes clearing of what isn’t supposed to be there to
make room for what is. In an instant with the scurry of little feet, and the activities of hands,
grabbing, carrying, and putting up, the table is cleared. Then with a few swipes of a warm
soapy washcloth once again the tabletop is revealed and ready to receive the meal and more
importantly the people it was intended for. The table got a reset.
A table, even a huge, well-made, study table needs a reset from time to time. No matter what
the capacity, if enough loads are dropped and left the space fills and leaves little room for what
matters. A kitchen table isn’t intended for long term storage but daily use. Our lives are so
similar to our kitchen table. Often, we bring in temporary things and leave them permanently.
The constant dumping eventually results in lives that are so full of the temporary that the most
valuable things find no room.
Reset our lives
Regardless of how good we are at multi-tasking, managing, and juggling the added weight will
eventually result in a life that is overwhelmed with the menial and filled with guilt over the
unfinished important. At some point, we have to decide what we are going to live for, what will
occupy the tabletop of our life. Maybe just maybe you are reading this and realize that your life
is full, but not fulfilling, and you need a reset.
How do we reset our lives? It starts with an intentional and raw assessment of what we have
allowed to take up space. We have to ask questions like: “Is what I’m doing worthwhile? Will
this matter years from now?” The less important must give way to the most important. Be
relentless in your pursuit of a life less cluttered. We may be surprised to find that our life is full
because we are working at carrying the extra pieces of someone else’s projects, expectations,
or desires. We may be overwhelmed with the burdens of worry, tensions, fear, or the pressure
The next step in resetting our lives to carry only what they were designed to carry is we must
ask what does God want from me? We will never find the peace we are looking for until we
resolve to understand who God is and what He wants. In the most familiar Psalm, Psalm 23,
David writes confidently the first words that almost everyone remembers: “The Lord is my
Shepherd.” David knows what is most important in his life, he knows what should be on his
table because he knows who God is. Modern ideology says you get to know yourself by looking
inside you, but the Bible teaches us that to know ourselves we must know God first. David
knows The Lord is his Shepherd, therefore, David, also knows he is God’s sheep. He knows who
God is, therefore David also knows who he is and what he should be doing as a priority in his
life. David belonged to God and God was his strength, caregiver, and focal point of purpose.
David operated out of a very clarified life because he knew what should be there and what
It’s been said the two most important questions in business are: “What’s our business?” and
“How’s business?”. I think life is similar. What am I supposed to be doing in life, and what am I
doing in life? If I know I am here to live for God, then I need to know what God’s greatest
desire is. What’s more, I have to determine what is my greatest contribution to God’s great
desire. The answers to those two questions will clear and clean the table of my life of
unnecessary overburden of purposeless pursuits and will fill it with the valuable produce of
what matters most. Resetting your table may take only a few minutes but resetting your life’s
practices and priorities may take much longer. Just remember you have one opportunity to
live, living it in the right direction, with the right focus is worth it.