I love New Year’s Resolutions. Heck, I love all kinds of goals and every excuse to make them and renew them. And I’ve resolved to never do them the same way twice. So, for 2014, I wrote this post about my goals for the year in the form of 6 different words that I want to be committed to this year. I thought it would be fun to take some time to explore each of the words and how they are weaving into my life in this season. The first one is creative. The second one is strong.
The third one is SIMPLE.
1. easy to understand, deal with, use, etc.
2. not elaborate or artificial; plain: a simple style.
3. not ornate or luxurious; unadorned: a simple gown.
4. unaffected; unassuming; modest: a simple manner.
5. not complicated: a simple design.
When I started writing this post, my intention was – “I want to be a simple person.” I was going to elaborate on that at length, and one of the most difficult realizations of this season is that there is nothing I can do to make myself uncomplicated, or unaffected, or easier to understand. Whew. Needed to let that one sink in for a minute.
And so this post sat in my draft pile, with only that paragraph written. I felt disappointed in my own complications and nuances and compared myself to the men and women around me who seemed to have things figured out and to have disproportionately fewer issues than I did…..than I do.
The more I think about it, though, the more I think about who I want to emulate, and that no one would describe Jesus as simple in the way that I’m thinking about it. He was a complicated guy, a well of deep wisdom and complex desires. And yet, he lived simply and treated others with simple love and dignity, and that’s really more what I’m aiming for. I want to live and love simply, despite my own complexities.
“The life of Christ was a life of humble simplicity, yet how infinitely exalted was his mission. Christ is our example in all things.” (Ellen G. White)
So, in a quest for simplicity, I’ve started reading books by Sue Monk Kidd, who seems to blow me away each and every time I pick up one of her books with how she lives so intently and presently in each day. (Check out some of her books I reviewed here.) And I’ve realized, that much of life is about waiting. Waiting, not for God to do something, but for my own desires and ambitions to catch up with God’s. Living simply is about living the way Jesus did – with complete and utter confidence that God has everything under control.
Here’s what Matthew 6:30-33 has to say to me in this:
“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? 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.”
So, today, I have very few answers. I find myself in a place where I am waiting on several “big steps” in my life, and am trusting God to handle that. In the meantime, I am trying to “steep my life in God-reality, God-initiative, and God-provisions”.