The Pondering Pastor

These "Ponderings" originally appeared as articles in our church newsletter or bulletin or just as the musings of one bald pastor. I place them here to encourage you, my fellow blogite and maybe to help us all in our pondering.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

THE SIMPLE FACT


THE TRUTH IS NOTHING IS SIMPLE, at least not in the world in which you and I spend our days. Life in the 21st century is complicated, in fact there is even an option on Facebook when relating about a relationship that simple states, “It’s Complicated.” Is it any wonder that at the end of the day we drop into our beds, plop our heads down onto the pillow and stare blankly at the ceiling which stares blankly back at us and wonder, “What really happened today? Did I really accomplish anything of meaning? I dare say most, if not all of us, increasingly find ourselves in that situation.
     Along with the many things that crowd my life I have enrolled in a self-enrichment course hosted by Willow Creek Community Church. The course is entitled, The Leader’s Soul, and as the title clearly represents it’s about how we can increase the health and well-being of our soul. The course is a discussion about spiritual disciplines (prayer, solitude, fasting, journal-keeping) and seeks to help us put them into practice. I was moving along quite nicely in the course until this week’s focus on simplicity.
     The theme of simplicity deals with removing some of the clutter of our lives, things that clutter our time and our space, and the effect that this clutter has upon our soul. When our lives are filled with too much stuff and too much activity it makes it difficult to find the time needed for the deep development of the spiritual disciplines.
     I was challenged, OK convicted, by an article entitled, “An Extreme Simplicity Makeover.” The article dealt with the stuff that many of us keep, refusing to throw away. You know those closets, junk drawers, back sections of the garage. The author wrote that most often the reason we do not get rid of the clutter (junk) is because of two overriding fears. The fear of what if I need that thing later and the fear of regret that stems from not completing certain projects or maintaining a certain hobby or interest. This second fear is the fear that people will see that I am really not the person I claim to be. Let’s make it personal. I have tons of fishing stuff that I refuse to get rid of because if I do the men would see that I really don’t care that much about fishing. So, instead of simplifying my life by getting rid of the fishing equipment, I keep it in order to project the coolness that comes from being a fly-fisherman, but the truth is I’m not. But I dare not get rid of the stuff…well, I think you get the picture. Thus, the rafters of my garage remain cluttered with fishing paraphernalia.
     Many of us have lives filled with clutter. This clutter can keep us from experiencing the peace that comes from a life of truth and rest. The simple truth is; to simplify our lives can open the space for the Spirit of God to speak and for us to hear.
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