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This week, I’m told, is “Simplify Your Life Week.”
We could talk about how to declutter, how to eliminate two or three things from our schedules, or how to streamline the laundry room.
But I think simplifying my life in a way that profoundly impacts my daily experience must begin at a deeper level.
My friend Amy Sorrells pointed me to today’s My Utmost for His Highest devotional: “The Bewildering Call of God.” Oswald Chambers offered some interesting thoughts that relate to this idea of simplifying at a deeper level.
In it, Oswald Chambers says, “The call of God can never be understood absolutely or explained externally; it is a call that can only be perceived and understood internally by our true inner-nature.”
I find, personally, that perceiving and understanding internally the call of God, or experiencing any kind of connection with God, is difficult when I’m operating in high-speed mode. It’s hard to hear His voice and respond to Him when I’m frenzied and frazzled.
Because of His love, grace and power, He certainly can get through to me, even when I’m rushed and hurried; but I seem to need on a regular basis slow moments of solitude and silence built into my life to have a chance of listening and responding to the Lord. For me, fellowship and oneness with the Lord flow from this pace.
So for this reason and more, I place a priority on committing to the slow-paced life. Eliminating hurry, I learn to listen, respond, and trust.
If we are in fellowship and oneness with God and recognize that He is taking us into His purposes, then we will no longer strive to find out what His purposes are. As we grow in the Christian life, it becomes simpler to us, because we are less inclined to say, “I wonder why God allowed this or that?” And we begin to see that the compelling purpose of God lies behind everything in life, and that God is divinely shaping us into oneness with that purpose.
I want to be the Christian Chamber describes, “someone who trusts in the knowledge and the wisdom of God, not in his own abilities.”
And his conclusion seems like it is a message for all who are seeking to live a life that is slower and not so fast. We strip away stuff and simplify our schedules in search of something. Sure, we want to find a pair of scissors when we need them and are tired of staring at paper piles, worried we’ve neglected a bill. But I suspect many of us are going about these simplifying steps hoping deep down to achieve a soul-level peace. Simplifying our surroundings and slowing our schedules can help, but we must also trust that “the compelling purpose of God lies behind everything in life.”
Listen, then, to Chambers’ conclusion: “If we have a purpose of our own, it destroys the simplicity and the calm, relaxed pace which should be characteristic of the children of God” (emphasis mine).
Simplicity and a calm, relaxed pace.
Are those words characteristic of this child of God?
Get to know Ann Kroeker better at annkroeker.com