Wednesday, December 14, 2016

for when you long for simplicity

FRIENDS is my favorite.  Yes friends are my favorite too, but FRIENDS, that beloved show of the late 90s and early 2000s, will always have a top ranking in my heart and to my eyes.  Their humor and friendships, the way none of them could take themselves too seriously because each was a hot mess in a different way, even the way they titled their episodes make me love it more.  Seriously, the way they titled their episodes, the one where..., was not just witty but quite helpful.  While I'm thinking about it, efficient wittiness is one of my favorites as well.  For never before seen footage, you had a hint of something that was going to happen by reading the title and later while searching for a desired episode you are reminded at a glance of what that episode held thus providing a quick end to  your search.

There is a large part of me that wants to go back and change the title of everything I've written renaming them each with efficient wittiness, both for myself and for others, so that at a glance it is known what might be held in the heart of the words; so that at a glance the hard fought lessons, encouragements, and words of the past can prick the consciousness giving reminders to carry into the future.

For today the title would be for when you long for simplicity.

At first glance, it might seem like a thematic seasonal post is coming next filled with reminders that in this season, this bustling December brimming with parties, appointments, shopping, and whatnot, you must force yourself to stop, slow the race around you, and breathe to soak in the peace of Advent, the peace we now get to have because we are no longer waiting on the Messiah's first arrival but living in Him; anticipating His return while remembering long ago those who faithfully waited on His initial appearance.

Yes, all good things and just writing those words immediately brought a calm to my Spirit and a smile to my face, but what about the rest of time?  The other days when the Christian calendar might not be as obviously beckoning for your stillness.

Does it seem, as of late, to anyone else besides the controller of these words, that there is a heavier overall desire to minimize, to simplify.

Whether it's paring down the number of objects owned, or cancelling appointments on the calendar, or deciding what to dos on the list really aren't necessary, or cutting out relationships in your life that require more work than seems worth it, or, or, or.  It is a real, and becoming much more common, occurrence to do whatever can be done to make life more simple and less arduous because we feel in our hearts that complication is what is reigning.

To the human heart and mind it makes perfect sense. 

A handful of friends spent this year magically tidying up and shed themselves of gobs, yes I said gobs, of unneeded, undesired items.  I even followed suit, just without reading the official magic words.  Getting rid of items can mean less work on upkeep and therefore more time available.  It teaches and reminds that wants and needs are not the same thing and having more just to have more is just more.  Purging your life of things that don't bring joy will, in theory, allow more focus on things that do.  However, seeking joy from any material possession will always leave you lacking.

Likewise with those over scheduled schedules, the obvious solution is to get rid of the things you don't want to do or don't feel called to do if you want to add a more socially, 'christianly' acceptable spin.  We all have a breaking point, some of us just require a little extra pressure, and the first thing done is paring down those schedules.  Gone will be the weight from doing what is expected, what is assumed, instead of what is desired, what is meant specifically for you.  Somewhere in the lessons you realize you could not keep up the pace, you realize you just cannot do it all.  The blessing beneath that curse is that you were never meant to. 

In a recent sermon I heard a now favorite colloquial phrase in regards to this subject, and I quote, the bible is chock full of things you can't do.  I just love that phrase chock full.  To a southern heart it means full to the brim, not one more thing can be stuffed in there without it overflowing and making a mess everywhere.  It also doesn't hurt that it is straight Truth.  The creator of the world, which means your creator as well, never required you to do it all, and He certainly never required you to do it alone.

The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer has quickly become one of the books I will forever treasure for opening my eyes to life as it was designed to be lived, for helping me pay attention to that sweet Spirit within who has never ceased pointing and guiding all the way.  Though not even quite finished reading it for the first time through, my copy is already worn from use and heavy from the extra ink, and the occasional crayon, needed for underlining and margin notes.

Tozer, or A Dub'ya, as my Friday morning ladies and I call him writes, "Be thou exalted is the language of victorious spiritual experience.  It is a little key to unlock the door to great treasures of grace.  It is central in the life of a godly man.  Let the seeking man reach a place where life and lips join to say continually, Be thou exalted, and a thousand minor problems will be solved at once.  His Christian life ceases to be the complicated thing it had been before and becomes the very essence of simplicity."

The very essence.  Simplicity.  Be Thou Exalted.  God first.

Life as a Christian was never going to be easy, going against everything the world holds in highest honor is a hard row to hoe, but holding the same things as the world in highest places is when everything becomes disjointed.

For this girl who yearns for simplicity, for all of us who seek and change and ignore and purge and do without just to taste a hint of a simpler life, this is balm.  This is a single step.  A scary one for some, a difficult one for some, a giant leap for some, but one that brings immediate and lasting simplicity.    
There will be no perfection, for only One is perfect, or even the illusion of perfection, that are what many see as the greatest success of life.  But there will be peace no matter the chaos around because the lines are now in order, the rightful one holds the lead spot and everything else can see where they fit, where they have longed to belong.

Everything falls into place because of God.

Yes, 'tis the season now but 'tis the season always.  Life in Christ changes you not for a moment, not for a five week period between two holidays, but forever.  Your inner disposition finds simplicity when it's only focus is Christ and your attitude about life falls into step as your heart clings to Him.

Praying for you to simply need Christ, pray for me.

1 comment:

  1. Be Thou Exalted. God first, then everything else. Wow. This is truly the epitome of simple!! When everything in life sifts through such a sieve, priorities gleam true. Thsnks for this post!!