Sunday, January 18, 2009
It's So Simple
Is it easier to trust God when you live simply? I would be willing to bet it is.
Last week I was enjoying the afternoon at the Laurel Ridge Farms. All the kids were occupied and I found myself alone. If I stood where the sun was shining, I could forget that it was freezing cold two steps to the left in the shade. I made a point to close my eyes, turn my head up and enjoy that moment. God quietly whispered, "You can always live like this if you want. You can find the sunny spot and step into it." He brought this picture to mind that you see here. This is my friend's apartment in China. For a week last summer, I helped her with her toddler and new baby. It was so simple. I did laundry on the balcony! Can you see the washer in the picture? Her dryer was on another balcony. When I stepped out there, I could see lots of other people doing life. It was easy to stand there and pray for the city as I observed people doing their own laundry, feeding babies, exercising, watching tv. I walked to the market alone and took in the sights around me. For a week I didn't think about anything stressful. Why bother? My problems and worries where on the other side of the world! (No, I am not talking about my family!) The following week I worked in the orphanage with Danny and Noah: get up, walk to work, play with kids, eat dinner, spend time with friends, go to sleep. It was simple and it was beautiful. Other than my annual silent retreats, I have never experienced that kind of mental rest.
So, I am soaking up the sun and the simple moment and God says, "Remember the simplicity you love and miss about being in China? I offer that here, but you don't seem interested." How do you expect me to recreate that? I ask. "Live in today," He says. "Remember Jesus' words in Matthew 6 that no one seems to take seriously? But seek ye first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
"Focus on something else...MY kingdom. Not yours." God is saying. "Stop focusing on what you don't have. Stop trying to figure out solutions for tomorrow's unknown. Live in today. Be present in the lives of the people I have put in front of you. Don't squander these precious things about today (kid produced puppet shows, endless questions, doing your laundry indoors). If you can grasp the beauty in that, and fully engage in today, you will understand what I mean in Matthew 6." Sounds pretty simple, doesn't it?