Chapter 9: Everyday Life Simplicity
Coming into our 6th week of Lent, I want to share on some personal experience as we draw nearer the Cross.
I began the life of simplicity several years ago for reasons probably unlike most. It began with my diet, not because of a known health issue, but because I started learning about how food was grown and raised. I wasn’t even a Christian at the time, so my focus-while I know now was spiritual-had nothing to do with God in my mind.
Fast forward several years and you’ll find that this walk with simplicity is more well-rounded than just a whole foods diet. As the author of our book mentions once you’ve set your heart on simplicity in one area, it’s nearly impossible to keep it compartmentalized–it will trickle into other areas of your life.
But you’d also see that because of my walk with Christ, God now plays an integral role in this life toward simplicity. It’s not just about a monthly purge of the things I don’t use, need or manage well; it’s about feeling peace within by decreasing the physical things that surround me. It’s not just about eating food that I know is nourishing to my body; it’s about supporting farmers who honor God’s creation and connecting with God by spending time in his creation through gardening and raising chickens. My journey isn’t just about being frugal; it’s about honoring God with my finances and giving back to him what is his.
That’s not always the case though. I’ve fallen into the trap multiple times during my journey of making it about me. Striving so selfishly toward simplicity, that living a life of “keeping up with the Jones’ ” looked innocent.
I don’t know why you chose this Lenten pathway or why a life of simplicity has lassoed your heart, but I just want to motivate you to be courageous–many people think “a simple life” means things will be easy, but that’s often just not the case.
Christ knew that the solution was simple: His life for all of mankind.
Simple, yes. Easy? No. As was see in the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus-in his human form, yet knowing what must be done-pleaded with the Father.
“My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me.”
Even still, he says, “Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
As we begin to approach the shadow of the cross this week, my hope is that whatever our reasons or desires for journeying this pathway each of us can focus or refocus our gaze upon Christ. May we each be completely saturated with what these weeks leading up to Easter really signify: denial of self for reliance of God.
Lord, we come before you broken, shaken, and lost. We come to you confused and disheartened. This world and our own flesh continually pull us away from you. Despite our best efforts to strip our lives of the lies of this world, we find ourselves grasping for what feels comfortable.
Lord, I ask that as we draw nearer the Cross, that you would remove the blinders from our eyes. Help us to see that we didn’t start this journey of simplicity for simplicity’s sake, but because in our hearts we knew that by slowly, intentionally stripping away the things of this world we would live a life honoring to you. We would know you more intimately each time we denied ourselves our fleshly desires. May the pain, shame, or uncertainty of this journey and our life be washed away by the blood of your Son.
We love you, we need you. Amen.
I didn’t stray from our book today because I don’t believe that Chapter 9 is worth writing about. Instead, I wanted to share some personal experience as we read about what simplicity in everyday life can look like. The transparency of not always focusing on God during my simple life journey was an effort to you encourage you in your walk.
If there is an area in Chapter 9 that touched your heart, pray on that today. If you’re feeling stuck on a previous chapter, idea, or challenge spend time reflecting on that today. And if you’re like me today, and you realize you’ve made this journey about you at some point or another, confess that to God today. Ask him to reveal clearly how “everyday life simplicity” should look in your life.
Because sometimes a challenge to pray is exactly what we need.