Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Simplicity


As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.
~Henry David Thoreau

We all think if only the rich man could have trusted Jesus when He asked to give up his riches. It was not that riches of themselves were the problem, but that Jesus knew the man could not surrender them. Simplifying one's life is surrendering those things which give us comfort and at times even those things that give us security. Whatever comes between us trusting God needs to be surrendered...and I am saying this not to be preaching to anyone more than my own self.

I have been watching a young lady wrestle with restlessness. The kind one has when one is sure of what she is to do with her life, but she is not yet doing it, so she feels. Most of my readers know her well from her mother's blogs here and more recently from her own here. God has given this young woman the heart to do missionary work in South America, but she is not yet there. Currently she is working on an alpaca farm.

On the farm, she lives in a simple one room cabin, homey and rugged. She did not even have electricity until an extension cord was ran out to it. She does have a computer so she can stay in touch with the outside world. It sounds like a wonderful way to live to me--Oh, how I wish I had done this on a horse ranch when I was her age!

If I could sit down with Lobstar, I would be telling her of how much harder it is to give up things we have had than to never have had them. How keeping one's life simplified is a blessing, gives us freedom, and leaves so much more time to focus on the Lord, and the real challenge in life, I think, is to always want the Lord more, to always desire seeking Him above all things...even our own family, as difficult as that might sound.

Still, we want what we want when we want it...even if it is to start our service for the Lord. We think we are ready and able now so let's get to it, and that is something that does happen just that way for some. God will always use whoever He can even when they are not prepared and perfected, but it does not happen that way for everyone. Some are given time and circumstances to become more prepared spiritually prior starting a special task, but in actuality the task has already begun.

Being a sci-fi fan, I always remember this one quote from the most logical Mr. Spock of Star Trek, because it really had a profound effect even though I was a child at the time: "After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true."

We often know just what we want and we might even think we know what God wants for us, but often what we get is not exactly what we thought it would be and, even if it is exactly what we thought, we tend to find it does not bring the pleasure we were pursuing in the acquiring of it. That is why we should try to always be desiring only what God wants in the way He would have us desire it and be in preparation for the receiving of it.

Then there is the other side, the harder discipline of learning that what is wanted or what is comfortable is not necessary and even can hinder you from doing what is most important to the Lord. That is the path the rich man would not take and I cannot blame him because it is a very hard path...perhaps a glimpse of which I am seeing before me right now.

I knew a young missionaries couple just married, who was preparing to leave not only their families but all they knew to go to Albania with nothing but private backers. The young lady seem to be a bit afraid of living there because of the conditions. She would get a far off look every time they talked about it and the look on her face was not one of joy but of worry and fear. They did not have running water, but a few hours a day, and never on schedule--showers were out as the pressure was too low. Electricity was even worse. Their bathrooms, no flushing toilets, just a hole in the floor...beyond that I cannot even go into describing! Toilet paper was purchased in a neighboring country and carried back with them on the bus trip. They were threatened and some people even tried to burn down their home too. Yet, when she came back to the States for a visit, you could see her heart had completely changed. She even said that the U.S. held nothing for them at all. She had learned to live with the simplicity of life she at first feared.

Why Lobstar is working on an alpaca farm right now instead of being in South America at the missionary work she so desires to be doing is not entirely clear to us, but I know it has purpose...God's purpose. If we trust God to lead us where we must go, we must also trust that He knows the way we need to go to get there as well.

~ My Lord, show me what needs to be stripped away from my life, where I need to better discipline myself, and to find joy in the simplicity of life. Please give peace and understanding to a certain young lady who eagerly waits to serve you by being a missionary to children in South America. ~

6 comments:

  1. Amen to all that! And congratulations to your Princess. I did read the other post but being a little distracted at the time forgot to actually comment. Would leave my head behind if it wasn't attached some days! ☺

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  2. Ganeida, thank you...and please keep your head with you at all times; it makes more sense that way as to why you would cover it. ;P

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  3. Hmmm, Wow huh! Finding God's purpose can be so un-clear at times. Thanks for the post though. Gotta go back to God in everything... His timing is perfect in everything. No doubt I shall look back on these years and come to understand later on :)

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  4. Lobstar, we do not need to find the purpose; if God wants it to be known, it will be. What we need to is just trust God has a purpose and be willing to go with it...and that takes a great deal more faith.

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  5. :p "What we need to is just trust God has a purpose and be willing to go with it..." that's the fun part right!!!

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  6. Let's just say that I am always hopeful it will be "the fun part."

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Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.