"I pledge allegiance to the Lamb: and to the kingdom for which he stands"
I find that I experience the most confusion, the most pain, and make more poor choices when my life is complex. Complexity is a paradigm of thought and action, where our lives are so cluttered by the nuances of life, that we begin to lose sight of the bigger picture. We become myopic in our approach to life, because we become consumed with the details. Soon, the important is subdued by the urgent and the small.
We become so busy making money that we forget that money is only a tool to provide for our provisions and the provisions of others. We get so busy doing ministry, that we neglect connecting with God. We are so busy getting our children to activities, that we neglect authentic fellowship with them. Life becomes complex, with hundreds of moving parts; fragmented, fractionated, and frustrating.
This week, I began to experience the gift of simplicity. The understanding that I must do a few things that will order and prioritize everything else. It is taking a radical stand, committing to the truly important and trusting God to provide. Simplicity is the glue between faith and blessing (Matthew 6:33). We seek the important and simply trust that God will truly give us what we need.
A few laws to live by in the simplification process:
1. Connection with God, almighty drives everything. If you are not making time with God, then you will have no idea what is really important, and what God thinks is important. (Proverbs 3:5-8). Time with God through prayer, Scripture reading, and contemplation is essential.
2. Love wins! A few years ago, a friend of mine said, "You know, the answer to about everything is love". We were created in love, purposed by love, redeemed by love, sent out in love, gifted in love, formed to love, motivated by love, and incomplete without love. If its not about love, then its not about God. (I John 4:7).
3. Choose your allegiances everyday. Everyday, in all of our decisions, we are being asked, who or what do you follow. We must be careful because there is a temptation to declare our loyalty with our mouths, but be betrayed by our actions. For me, everyday, I must ask myself whether I am following Jesus or allowing cultural and social forces to inform and conform me.
4. Develop a real joy for the journey itself. Yes, we have goals and life destinations, but the real joy comes in the adventure of the journey itself. Years ago, I was an active participant in the Promise Keepers movement. Every years a group of men would go on a road trip to hear Christian speakers. The destination was never as fun as the journey. The ordinary things of life make up our journey and it is essential to find the beauty and pleasure of the ordinary. Contentment is the harbinger of peace.
Take time to simplify this weekend. Make time for connection! Keep love foremost in you mind. Be intention about who or what you follow and look for the presence of God in everything. I pray that you will allow the "main thing to be plain things" in your life.
May God bless you,
Pastor M Traylor