"The older I grow the more clearly I perceive the dignity and winning beauty of simplicity in thought, conduct and speech: a desire to simplify all that is complicated and to treat everything with the greatest of naturalness and clarity." -Pope John XXIII
If any of you are like me the thought of finding simplicity in this world seems an impossible task. In fact, I struggle enough with keeping one simple thought moment by moment. Yet there is something deep in our souls that longs for a clearer picture, a settled spirit, and life of less clutter. Something in us yearns for simpler times, simpler schedules, and a simpler world. Many of us dance around it. We know people who look like they have achieved it, but we just can't seem to put our own finger on it. The all illusive simplicity that is part of us and yet so other worldly we cannot fathom life fully given to its abundance.
Ahh...And therein lies the ever perplexing paradox: to gain life, we must lose. But we don't want to 'lose' anything. We want simplicity to appear at no cost to us. How many of us want a healthier body but we don't want to give up our Diet Coke to obtain it? How many of us want to be debt free but we need that new car, new house, new outfit, even if we can't afford it today. We borrow from our futures to pay for today and rob ourselves of what Pope John called "simplicity of thought" tomorrow. We are guaranteeing a life filled with worry, debt, illness and chaos. Our hearts are not longing for those things so we live out of balance between our spirit and our conduct.
Well the way I see it simpler times call for simpler measures. If we really want to achieve what we yearn for then we will have to change our todays to make a positive impact on our tomorrows. We are going to actually have to do something different. We may actually have to stop doing something, or some things. We may give something up. We may start doing something beautiful that we loved at one time but forgot about when life got too cluttered. But my hope is that in our losing we will find. I believe that in seeking a more simple life, even if we lose something in the process, we will be wonderfully surprised to find we have gained a simpler spirit. Deep breath...that even feels good just to say...a simpler spirit.
I don't have this all figured out. I'm just a scattered mess of a girl who is tired of ignoring the voice inside me that is screaming for me to slow down and live this day that is in front of me. I want to clear away the junk in my life that is not life giving. I want to notice the people around me. No, not just notice, I want to love them. I want a simple spirit like Jesus that just loves people for no other reason than, well, just because we share the same sidewalk for 30 seconds. I want to be a better person and I can't be if all I have time for in my life are things that pertain to me.
This is my place where I share my journey. I will be honest, it's not going to be pretty all the time. I heard Donald Miller on the radio this morning promoting his movie Blue Like Jazz. The radio host asked him how he would describe his movie, since Don's movie is not your typical Christian movie. It's not the sort of movie that puts a great God moment in there just in time to tie it all up with a nice little bow on top...it's real. Don said, "I would describe it as Biblical." And he went on to explain what he meant, that the Bible is not a story that puts a nice little bow on the end of every situation. Some things get sorted out and some get left a mess and that's just life. But through it all, Genesis to Revelation, God is there. I think what Don was saying was, He may not supply a bow to put on top and make it all pretty...He just is the bow!
Hopefully we'll have just enough trouble with this simplicity thing to keep it fun. And who likes a show off anyway! No need to dress up, just come as you are.
I am hoping to learn and grow from you. I am hoping to be challenged by you. I am hoping that God will do a new thing here because we have shared our experiences.
I'm looking forward to the journey with you!