We live in a complex and full world these days. Over the last several months it has been nagging at me that this is not the way life was created to be. Life is complicated not because it is supposed to be, but because we choose it to be. We choose to surround ourselves with a ton of “stuff”. We choose to overload our calendars and fill every minute with places to go. We choose … too much. And we forget the simple pleasures of connecting with people instead of with things. I hear the seductive whisper and it is calling me.
During these last few months the nagging is getting bigger because other truths are beginning to emerge. I can no longer ignore the knowledge of the embarrassment of riches I live with. I am learning about the poverty of other nations – not just in the headlines but by personal account from those who are living it. I am starting to clear the star dust from my “middle class American” privileged eyes and I am beginning to truly learn. I am learning about the wastefulness and greed that surrounds me in my culture and in many ways, in my habits.
I am learning about the craving for simplicity. There are days when I think I should sell all my stuff and travel the world helping people. A noble dream but not one I’m ready to chase after … yet. It seems too much, too soon. But like all nagging voices, they grow. My discontent is growing. No, not discontent with my life but discontent with the waste of my potential to make a difference. I don’t want to end my days surrounded by stuff my children will sell in a garage sale. I want to end my days surrounded by people and memories of ways that I have improved someone’s day, life, heart because I was in it. My complex life is not the path to get me there.
And then there’s my cousin – Michelle. She hears the calling and is chasing after it. She’s in the process of leaving her job, selling her home and her abundance of worldly goods. She is embarking on a move to another community in another state to minister full-time. I look at her courage and her conviction with a tinge of guilt and ton of wonderment. She is living out her call to simplicity. She is opening her heart and her life to adventures of her faith and I am in awe. I see her detangling from the life she’s known and created and deliberately creating what she sees as possible by walking in faith. The answers are not all clear but the conviction is. The source of her action is her surrender to faith and that is the most powerfully simple way to live. She is letting God lead and she is already feeling the joy that simple choice creates.
I’m proud of you Michelle. I’m proud that you have chosen to “lay down your nets to be a fisher of men.” I will pray for you, and in my own time, and own way, I will simplify my life and follow my calling too. I hear the whisper growing.
Do you hear the call to simplify your life? Listen, act, and be blessed!