Today's world is telling us we need more; a bigger house, nicer car, better job, finer clothes, etc. However rarely do these things bring us true happiness and joy. There is a power in being content with what we have and who we are. The plain, ordinary, and natural of life can be a continual reminder of what really matters to God. If we look in the scriptures we will find the counter cultural message Jesus' lived for was knowing that true faith and worth comes through his love not something that we can do, buy, or obtain by other means.
One spiritual practice from this gospel message is living a simplistic life. The pandemic has forced many individuals to stop the busyness that was running their daily lives and sit back and notice. The response has been amazing as people have noticed things they had forgotten and neglected. For some this was seeing how much they missed spending time with family. For others it was taking time to do activities they really loved not ones they were obligated to perform. There have also been many people who have found ways to tap into their spiritual lives again.
Aspects of Simplicity
In this time when we are looking at simplifying our lives or keeping it simple as life gets back to being normal again, we must assess what changes we are going to make. Here are some specific areas for you to look at.
Reassess Priorities - Look at what you really want on your plate and unload the rest. Life is too short to perform obligations that do not provide for your family or increase your happiness. Schedule your time with the most important people and responsibilities first.
Own Less - Find a balance and contentment with what you have without having to consume more. There is also a spiritual practice of sacredness in creation when we own less. The less we own the less natural material are used and non biodegradable objects created. Minimalism has made a very strong rise in our society bringing the thought process that less can actually be more.
Be Generous - Simplicity goes hand in hand with generosity. When we are able to live a simplistic life we retain further resources to give to those who need it. One beautiful way to live simpler is to intentionally doing this to increase your giving. When we keep generosity at the forefront of our minds simplicity is just a step behind.
Identify Gratefulness - Being simplistic is also about changing your mindset to be thankful for what you have. This switch allows individuals to be happy with their current state of being and understand that all things are blessing. When we focus on gratefulness we are able to be present in the moment and experience joy our lives.
Despite the frustrations of this year I hope you have found some joy in making your life a bit simpler for a while.
This week be grateful for what you have, reframe your desires, and identify what is the most important in your life.
Craig Hidy like the majority of ministers in Community of Christ is a bi-vocational, self sustaining ordained minister. He is a member of the Midlands Mission Center Emporia Team and an ordained Seventy. He and his family, live in Topeka, Kansas.
The mission of the Seventy
“After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. He said to them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves.” Luke 10:1-3 NRSV
What is a Seventy?
The Seventy carry out missionary work for the church in close association with other missionary leaders. They represent Christ primarily as ministers of evangelism through witnessing, inviting, and church planting.
They especially proclaim and promote Jesus Christ’s invitation to faithful discipleship through vibrant witness, and train individuals and congregations in witness and invitation.
They particularly minister with seekers, individually and in groups, to share the gospel in relevant ways and to invite response.
The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Community of Christ. We believe individuals should be allowed to have their own opinions and be at different places in their faith journey.
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