Oh how I love the idea of the finer things in life! The big house, the well groomed yard, the luxury vehicle, New fangled electronics, a fit and healthy body, the latest trends hanging in my closet, the little details and decorations adorning my home on all levels, the idea of my kids being in multiple activities and being the best at whatever they do. Even in homeschooling the vision is cast of having super achievers, scholarly graduates and highly knowledgeable students on all levels.
In the midst of the lure of all these things I can hear my soul crying out, “simplicity where are you?” Where can I find a place to be quiet and rest? Where can I go to find peace and serenity, a place where my “to do” list doesn’t exist but only the simple tasks of living and enjoying the small things are on the days agenda?
You see the reality of it is (as my husband would say) is that my longing for simplicity; for peace, serenity, and rest have been swallowed up by the natural desire to work at acquiring and “having it all” in this life. The more I strive to get, the more weary and empty I become and the more I long for a simple life. I begin to forget to look around and enjoy the landscape bursting with colors, the smell of fresh baked bread no longer comforts me, the giggle of a baby no longer moves me. I become cynical, careless, busy. The cleaning of that big house takes up an entire day of time, the washing of those trending clothes morphs into a big blob staring me down every morning when I wake up, and every night when I go to bed. The electronics divert the attention of my loved ones, and we become silent, detached and disinterested in one another. The vehicle has to be maintained, the grass needs constant mowing and treatments. I start pouring in the coffee as I toil in vain to mold my kids to become the best, because they sure don’t seem to give a rip so I work twice as hard to accomplish the feat.
and then God downloads this into my spirit…
“31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” ~ Matthew 6:31-33 (NIV)
My favorite version of this verse is found in The Message…
“What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.”- Matthew 6:31-33 MSG
All of this fussing and working in vain avails me very little, and this one truth begins to take center stage and illuminates in darkness of my weariness and humanness and that is this; All of these things are already done for me, all of these needs and desires are already met, the table has been set, the invitation has been given, it is for me to pull up a seat to and partake. This partaking comes when I trade in all of my reliance on my own efforts in exchange for His blessing and grace.
Relying solely on my ability to “do it all” robs me of the most precious gift in life; peace. The understanding that His blessing and grace is what sustains my hard work, gives the abundance in life a whole new level of enjoyment.
As the blessing pours in; the laundry and homework pile up, the grass grows long, the dust settles on the furniture and the work beckons to be done it’s easy for the finer things in life to lose their appeal in the stress of it all. My perspective has a paradigm shift and suddenly I feel like it’s more of a burden than a blessing to maintain the abundance that God so freely and graciously gives. I begin to murmur and complain, judge and become negative. The TV suddenly gives way to a world that gives me a break from reality and sinks me deeper into that emptiness. Religion sets in.
Yet again God downloads His perfect truth and word…
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28 (MSG)
This world is so hectic and demanding, pressuring us to do it all and obtain it all, it doesn’t give us permission to enjoy the small things in life, to be content in the season we’re in while we use our faith to seek new levels. You must give yourself permission to do these things, to let go, to only hang onto what’s important and to seek God and the riches of His glory so that the abundance that He desires to release to you in life can be yours to enjoy just the way He intended you to.
Be blessed on your journey!!