Saturday, August 16, 2014

Lessons from Rest: Simplify...Why?

Life is complex, fast-paced, and not slowing down anytime soon. We work hard, play hard, travel, hike, bike, run, swim, boat, golf, and so much more. Our days off are as exhausting as our work days - as we fill them with all these things and more. I think for too many of us, our lives look like our garages...full of too much clutter.

" 'Martha, Martha,' the Lord answered, 'you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.' " (Luke 10:41)

What is that one thing that Mary chose? Jesus. I like how pastor Louie Giglio puts it...to paraphrase him, "life is all about living for the fame and glory of Jesus."

One of the things I was reminded during my sabbatical was the need to simplify my life, and to live a simple life. I want to re-align my life with the most important thing, Jesus. Beyond that, I want to de-clutter what I fill my time with. But here's the secret - living simply is not easy. In fact, it is likely going to be a life-long battle. Why? Because it's 100% counter culturual - at least counter to the culture I live in (here in the NW part of the USA). Counter cultural is just a fancy way of saying that everything around me is pushing me towards a busy, cluttered life...everything. To live simple will be to push against this culture, but it is necessary if we are to experience the life Christ calls us to.

A man named Elijah once experienced something that we would do well to remember...he got to hear the voice of God. But that voice didn't come as he expected; first came a strong wind, then an earthquake, and then a fire...but God's voice was not heard in any of those. Finally came a "gentle whisper" - the voice of God.

It is quite possible for us to go through this life and rarely hear God's voice. Oswald Chambers remarked that even our service for God can get in the way of our relationship with God.

Why do we need to simplify? So we can hear God...so we can experience His power in us and achieve the mission He called us to. He has a plan for you but you can't do it on your own. So if you find your life spinning too crazily, then stop - re-prioritize.

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