The still small voice of God is easily drowned out by the noisy demands of daily life. Palm pilots, cell phones, text messages…technological conveniences become tyrannical rulers. We allow ourselves to become victims of the world and believe the deception that we cannot control the craziness of our calendars. The truth, though, is that we are the creators of the chaos by refusing to establish priorities for our time. The minutes of our lives are a precious, ever-depleting resource. We are to be wise stewards of those minutes. A key to that stewardship is cultivating a godly character which rejoices in simplicity.
Simplicity is not simple to cultivate in a world with a ‘have-it-all’ mentality that demands multi-tasking. Yet it is not about unplugging from the world either. A life lived with simplicity produces results in a world shattered by colliding desires and demands. Heartbreakingly, it is becoming a lost art. Clarity and goal-directed living are the hallmarks of a simple life. Simplicity is as much the antithesis of an aimless, uninvolved life as it is an antithesis of a scattered, chaotic life. Simplicity refuses multi-tasking and focuses on the task at hand. It is not laziness, nor is it distractedness. Simplicity will not sit and do nothing, nor will it text one friend while having lunch with another. Simplicity is about whole-hearted engagement with the world…one person, one activity at a time.
Cultivating simplicity requires establishing priorities for your attention. There is a wonderful illustration often used in time management classes. A glass jar is filled to overflowing with sand, pebbles and finally rocks. Nothing more can be added and not all that needs to fit can do so. A second jar…empty is brought alongside. The larger rocks are placed into the jar, then the pebbles, then the sand and finally a carafe of water is poured into the jar. ALL fits. Our lives are exactly like that. Rightly ordering our life’s priorities will allow everything to fit. We will not be overwhelmed; our hearts will have peace that reigns and our lives will bless others.