The Simple Life

I am a complicated person. I doubt that anyone, certainly not my wife or anyone that knows me very well, would ever accuse me of being simple. I only wish I had a simple life.

“The real path to greatness, it turns out, requires simplicity and diligence. It requires clarity, not instant illumination.” – Jim Collins, author of Good to Great.

I struggle with this. I long for this. Don’t get nervous. I’m not advocating that we all move to Montana and start a new wave of religious isolationism. I am only testifying that I am too busy. And it’s more than that. I like it busy. When my calendar is full I feel that I am “doing my job” and I must be making God happy. Ouch! That’s ugly.

Though few of us would argue for a busy and cluttered life, fewer of us still, work at eliminating those same types of things from our lives.

What was it about colonial America that lent itself to overt spirituality? Dare we say its simplicity? I think of friends of mine who move to more rural settings. I have shamefully said of them things like, “they just couldn’t make it in the big city.” But who really has the “better” life? Me or them? Simple. Uncluttered. Though their life is not worryless, certainly they worry less. Perhaps… no, certainly… I am just jealous.

Our fathers knew precisely what they were doing. They were not just arguing for spiritual freedom. They were arguing against the tyranny of external religion that is more concerned with posturing than it is with genuine soul being.

All of these thoughts came for me in a down time. A night “off” made possible by a church Christmas concert, turned into a deeper understanding of reality.

God is not impressed with how many appointments I am able to schedule in one week. He is not looking for me to fill that last bit of free time with something… anything. He is into “come apart and rest awhile” moments. Like Martha, I have become worried with the “doing” and forgotten – almost entirely – about the “being”. He says to me in those moments, “Please, mind your own busyness.” Give me more of your time. Allow me to know you more intimately. Know me back.

I’m glad He speaks to me that way.


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