Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Simple Life (part 2)

How ironic. Just a few hours after my last post entitled "Choosing the Simple Life" our boiler needed a $180 repair.

It's been making me really consider what I wrote yesterday. It seems to me that Jesus' call to the simple life is simply a call to be content with where God has put me.

Follow my thinking. Everything I have is a gift from God. At least everything good (see James 1:17). Have I lived most of my life thinking there's not enough good in my life?!?! What am I really saying when I think this way?

When our youth group went on a mission trip to Mexico a few years ago we met many church people who lived in shacks. Even so, they didn't complain about what they didn't have. They thanked God for what they did have. It was more than lip service - you could see it! They were content with the good things God had already dropped into their lives.

When it came to prayer request time they didn't ask for prayer for what they didn't have, they excitedly shared about what God had already given them. I spend most of my prayer time listing the things that I want God to do for me.

What's it say about me when I want something that's beyond my reach? What does discontentment say about my faith in God? Should I not be content with what He's already given me?

When I constantly want more...
When I grumble about what hasn't gone right and ignore what has...
When I spend more than God has given me to earn...
When I do these things am I really just showing my discontent for what God has given me?

I'm not advocating that we sit on the couch all day and say, "Give me what you've got, God. I'll be happy right here watching TV all day." If we sow nothing we'll reap nothing

But when the reaping is through and I'm short of the good things I think I need (or deserve), how do I respond? Do I go for it anyway? Some people add it to an already overextended credit card. Some simply kick down doors that were meant to remain closed thereby walking into the great unknown all alone (I can include myself in on this one!).

That's why the simple life is becoming so much more appealing to me. It's simply being content with what God gives and with where he puts me. That's it. No one to impress. No one to measure up to - to compare myself with. No new gadget to chase after. No barns to build (Luke 12:18) to hold the stuff I don't even use. No clutter. No unneccary distractions.

Just being content. Satisfied with what God has given (and, can I also suggest, taken away? Ouch!). Not wanting more. Assured that I'm right where I need to be for the moment. A molehill of worries instead of a mountain. The simple life.


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