So often the act of simplifying is seen as something that would be nice to do if we could squeeze it into our lives. Simplifying would be an added bonus to life if we had the time to get to it. But we’re not convinced it would make that much of a difference so we don’t think about it in any serious way.
Is it something extra?
Or is the need to simplify truly a deep spiritual need?
A.W. Tozer observed:
We Christians must simplify our lives or lose untold treasures on earth and in eternity. Modern civilization is so complex as to make the devotional life all but impossible. The need for solitude and quietness was never greater than it is today.
Tozer died in 1963. Imagine what he would say about the world we live in now.
Matthew 6:19-21 reminds us:
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Perhaps simplifying is much more important that we might think.
Sallie, My husband and I were just discussing that idea this afternoon. I mentioned that my research on those trying to live a self-sustaining life had a constant need for some cash flow. It seemed there never was enough money, so they either lived a standard lower than they would wish or the father had to stay out in the “work force” to keep an income to sink into the “farm.” This is a concern because the simple life then becomes coveteous as there is always more that you need with a lack of contentment. How easy is it to be content when something always needs fixed, repaired, replaced, doctored, or you’re bone tired due to overwork. I’m looking for the middle ground. Home ownership, simple life, with time for the “devotional life” as Tozer so aptly put it. We can’t forsake the Biblical principles. This is a good addition to our thoughts today. WIll be thinking on this idea more.
Thanks for your thoughtful comments. You raised some really good issues. I did start a blog entry about these topics several weeks ago and haven’t been able to get back to it to get it posted.
This idea has been discussed a lot on the Homesteading board I mentioned previously. I personally don’t think it is possible to be totally self-sufficient in this day and age. There are too many obstacles – property taxes is one of the biggest. And I’m not willing to live without health insurance which is costly if you purchase it yourself (like we do).
Well, I’ll stop there or I won’t have an entry to post! But you have motivated me to get back to it and get it up sometime soon. Sigh. So many ideas, so little time. It is probably the lament of every blogger/writer.
Surely you can apply this idea to simply decluttering, and either donating unwanted items to charity or, if in need of cash, selling them to others via auction sites or yard sales/car boot sales depending where you are in the world?
I know my friends and family have enough clutter to keep me in an auction site page for some time yet, at least. Our own loft is also full of boxes to sort, so I’m unlikely to be short of work any time soon on that front.