The simple life. This sounds so appealing to us in our age of multi-tasking and fast-paced, so-busy-you-can't-take-a-minute-to-be-still culture. I've been thinking about this a lot lately, mostly because I've been so busy and I have been letting life take over rather than letting God take over my life.
I think our conception of simplicity is a bit off. We think of it in terms of action and the amount of work done in a day. That's not really the case, or at least, it's not where simplicity starts. It starts, as with all ways of life, in the heart. What are the motives of my heart in doing each and every one of the activities that consume the minutes of my days? Are they centered on Christ or serving others out of our love for Him? Or are they just things that will serve us and entertain us and keep us looking good and busy?
Life was less complicated when my great-grandmother was a young girl. They spent their days working and serving their parents, perhaps without realizing it. They got up, made breakfast, ate it, set out to work on the farm doing their alotted chores. If they were of the age, they went to school until early afternoon and then came home to help with the rest of the chores, cook dinner, eat it, read or play games and then go to bed. This was a full day, but it wasn't elaborate or filled with fifty different insignificant things. They did things daily to survive and always had time to serve others- to stop by so-and-so's for a visit or to deliver some flour, or whatever be the case. There was a simplicity of direction in life. I want it. All of the high-tech gadgets that are supposed to improve our quality of life often drain it of any quality at all. I'm not suggesting getting rid of all electronics and becoming Amish! I have just decided it's time to re-think my priorities and gain the single-direction of service to God, not letting things like the computer and television and entertainment get in the way.
What started all of this thinking was one of my student's parents. She just recently moved into her mother and father's house for the winter, while they are in Florida. She is extremely blessed to be able to do so and stated that to me, but she also said she is stressed out, depressed and doesn't want to get out of bed. Why? Because her parents house is crammed full with stuff. So much so that it gives her a headache! Clutter. It kills simplicity because it takes out money, our time and our thoughts. And it effects us in greatly negetive ways. The less unecessary items (i.e. junk) we have, the more of our life we gain.