Thursday, April 23, 2009

Slowing Down

There is something to be said for the simple, unencumbered life. We constantly want to take on more than is healthy for us. But why? Is stuff going to give us peace? Is a bigger this or a nicer that going to fulfill our hearts? Is doing more going to get us more?

Our lives have a tendency toward gathering momentum toward chaos, plunging forward as if driven by a motor we ourselves do not control. We pack in so many activities that we lose the ability to experience joy with simplicity. Have we lost the ability to be satisfied or do we opt for being entertained over being satisfied? Have we swapped our peace and security for lots of stuff?

I know I need to slow down. Slow down my thinking and my planning (scheming). Stop and pray instead of go and get. Maybe the purpose for being so driven is that we won't have the time to reflect on our unexamined lives and will never realize something is missing, that something is wrong. I call the shots. I do what I want and get trapped in a tangled web of greed, materialism, hedonism, or religion. Or we end up maintaining the myriad of obligations like well-tended gardens while the truly important aspects of our lives goes unchecked.

Slowing down allows God to work, for his agenda to be made known. Simplicity is elegant and attractive. Simple churches focus on the message without all the bells and whistles. The elegance of praise, worship, prayer and a demonstration of the Holy Spirit is enough. It gives God the time and space to work miracles, to exercise the gifts placed in each one of us with supernatural simplicity.

Simplicity in marriage turns its focus from better house or home improvement to the elegance of intimacy, communication, connection and warmth. When we stop striving for bigger and better, we get richer and closer. But we have to choose. We can't have closer and bigger. They are not from the same paradigm.

Simplicity uncovers our weaknesses and vulnerability without shame, guilt, guile or pride. Whether we are in church , home, work, or by ourselves, simplicity drives us toward integrity and gentle honesty. No pretenses, no airs, no arrogance. No proving others wrong and ourselves right. Simple gospel; no fluff or smoke and mirrors which radically changes our hearts and allows God to work.

Slow down and evaluate the conditions of our own hearts, trusting that God will work on the hearts of others.

Churches slowing down and realizing high attendance isn't the goal; experiencing the presence of Jesus is.

Slow down and realize we have outsourced our spirituality to church leaders because we don't have the time for intimacy with God in prayer, worship and praise.

Slow down in our marriages and realize sex isn't the same as intimacy and existing together isn't the same thing as loving each other.

Slowing down in our lives, cease our striving so we can find God in the small things instead of waiting for the booming voice from heaven declaring "Thus saith the Lord...!"

Slow and realize we have existed but never lived.

What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. Amen, amen, and AMEN! You've hit the nail right on the head. We're probably not as booked as many families, but it seems we never have enough time to get everything done. I think back to the times when people didn't have computers, dishwashers, washing machines, or even cars. And yet they got stuff done. We have all these modern conveniences, which buy us more time, but not for God, but for more activities. Satan loves to keep us too busy to find the time to study God's Word, spend time with our families, or further His work.