Last weekend we talked about the rhythm of simplicity. It’s an inward focus that changes our external activities according to Richard Foster.
Simplicity isn’t about sitting around twiddling our thumbs. It doesn’t mean we have 1 chair in our homes, 1 plate on our tables or 1 change of clothes in our closets, though there are those that have chosen this way.
Simplicity also isn’t something to be worshiped as if the very idea of just being simple is better than every other idea out there. That would be asceticism and this was not what Jesus called us too.
No, simplicity is the inward act of focusing our attention so we can bypass all of the good things in life for the very best things.
So, what are the very best things that we can focus on? I could make a list of those things for me but honestly, we each have to choose for ourselves.
I can say that Jesus said that knowing Him and being restored to the people we were meant to be is the highest focus we can have. He called it the pearl of great price. He also compared this opportunity to a great treasure that was buried in a field and a man sold everything he had to buy that field and have that treasure.
Of course we can’t sit around and think about Jesus every moment of every day. There is work to be done, relationships to be built and life in a broken world to be navigated.
How are you spending your time? Are you focusing on the best things or are you inundated with the good things?
The rhythm of simplicity really is a discipline because it takes discipline to figure out what is most important. It takes discipline to organize your time, your resources and your life around these most important things, too.
The alternative is to take in everything that you possibly can but by making everything important, nothing really is.
Interestingly one of the first encouragements by counselors to those dealing with high anxiety is to reduce their focus to a few really important things. As we focus and simplify our lives, anxiety tends to drop if not disappear altogether for some.
Will you focus on the best things and see what happens? You won’t get there accidentally. You have to make room for the best by pushing away the good. I would love to hear how this rhythm has helped you!