"I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write." ~St. Augustine

Friday, October 2, 2009

Simplicity is

I thought that life would be more simple. I really assumed that settling down in small town (in the middle of nowhere!) would allow for a simplicity of life and schedule. Our expectations never really play out as we hope or dream, right?

So.... life isn't really simple here. My schedule is full and my life is as busy and scheduled as it has ever been. Now, I must say, my schedule is essentially full of those things I think God is calling me to... a schedule full of teaching my children, prayer, worship, ministry calls and writing. It isn't simple as I would have defined it months ago and it isn't NOT busy. But, maybe, just maybe it is the simplicity that God called me to? I don't know.

As we began listening to God's call for this next season, my husband and I were very sure of three things: simplicity, prayer and ministry of the word. So if simplicity is a call from God for our lives ...then is something wrong? Why does my calendar looks so full each week? Either we are not fighting hard enough for it, making hard choices and setting better boundaries. Or, we need to redefine simplicity entirely. Maybe both. We are not always good at listening to His voice alone. We are pulled in so many different directions. The "voices" or needs of others can define our schedule too much as we attempt to make everyone happy or meet all the needs. This issue comes from within and fights against simplicity choices.

Simplicity also needs to be redefined. Somewhere in my heart or mind simplicity looks like doing nothing, or more time allotted to nothing... It looks like "not being busy". I am realizing that I am defining my simplicity in the negative. Simplicity is not this... and isn't that...;rather than defining simplicity in the positive. Simplicity is...

So, what is simplicity? And, what is God calling us to exactly. I am not certain of the answer. I do know that simplicity is a state of the heart and mind. A friend just wrote a piece on rest and I was struck by the quote she used,

“When I say Sabbath, I also mean an attitude. It is a perspective, an orientation. I mean a Sabbath heart, not just a Sabbath day. A Sabbath heart is restful even in the midst of unrest and upheaval. It is attentive to the presence of God and others even in the welter of much coming and going, rising and falling. It is still and knows God even when mountains fall into the sea. You will never enter the Sabbath day without a Sabbath heart.” ~from The Rest of God by Mark Buchanan

So simplicity is a heart attitude. It is a way of the heart. Simplicity isn't about not being busy, necessarily, instead it is about being busy with only God's tasks. It is listening to His voice alone and knowing what He would have you be about. As we watch Christ and others in the gospels we see that sometimes that busyness would look like going away to pray. Sometimes busy looked like sitting at His feet, listening, worshipping. Sometimes busy looked like going to one town or another, preaching and healing.

Simplicity redefined may just look like listening to the One who knows His plans for me, good plans, and following His direction alone. Simplicity is resting in Him and hearing from Him.

I thought life would be more simple here. I thought it would just happen. I know now more than ever that simplicity is a choice. It is my heart. Am I "anxious after many things" or am I choosing the One needful thing... the One needful person. I moved to this simple place with a non-simple heart. I entered this Sabbath place without a Sabbath heart.

Sometimes I joke about moving to a cabin in Montana. Now, THAT, would be simple, I say! But, the problem remains that when I move... I move with me, I bring me along. Wherever I go, there I am. And where Stephanie is... there comes the multiple, complicated issues that she carries with her--- the shoulds, the musts, the voices and needs of others. Would Montana be any more simple than a little town in the middle of South Wales?

Oh kind, Father, thank you for this beautiful, simple place I live. Help me to learn to have a simple heart, a Sabbath heart. Teach me to rest in You alone and to listen for Your voice alone. Help me be busy with Your tasks for me, Your work alone, Your ideas and plans for my life. Teach me to be still, to have an undivided and simple heart. For Your glory, I ask you to teach me these things.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...