Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Time to Simplify

Do you ever grow weary from the endless striving? Ever grow tired of yourself, the sound of your own voice, the disappointment of your own shortcomings, the constant grinding and thinking and analyzing?

I sure do. And I'm feeling that a lot lately. The sad thing is that I'm not sure I know how to simplify things. I'm craving a return to the basics. Ironically, I'll probably end up seeking some complicated way to accomplish it. You know, like 10 Steps to a Simpler Life or something. And by the time I reach Step 5, I've already made things so complicated that I've given up on it.

I'm thinking that I probably try to complicate things because then I don't have to actually do anything. I can just talk about it endlessly, and get a warm and fuzzy feeling, and feel like I have done something useful by thinking and talking about it.

I really liked a recent quote by one of my favorite bloggers, Shaun Groves, who had this to say when a young man wrote him an e-mail asking for advice about what God's will was for his life:

Whatever you decide to do for a living, decide to love God more than yourself, love the poor and the sick and the hopeless more than your own happiness, love the intern as much as the boss, love your kids more than a promotion, love your wife more than your laptop. This is God’s will for your entire life. To pull this off you’ll need to buy as little as you can. The more stuff you own the more you’ll feel you have to work, the more depressed you’ll be when work isn’t fun, and the more you’ll equate God’s will with what you do for work, and the less time you’ll have to discover all the other things life is supposed to be about.

Brilliant. It seems to me that this is reminiscent of Jesus' words in Matthew 22, "'You shall love the Lord Your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind'. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself'."

There's nothing at all wrong with intellectual pursuits, and studiously searching for more knowledge, and trying to make it all make sense and find out how we fit into the big picture. But there's a time and a season for every event under heaven. And for me, right now seems like a time to peel back the layers of complexity and return to the basics.

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