There are 3 emphases that I think are necessary for engaging well in God’s Kingdom. There’s another kingdom out there that vies for our allegiance, and we can tell which one we belong to by the things we love.
The next few posts will be about ways to look at what we treasure.
Simplify. We, the 20% of the world use 80% of the world’s resources. This thuds deep into me and I cringe at our mindlessness and sense of entitlement. Even so, I like my comfort and routine and ease. We all do. It’s human. For example, please don’t think about taking away my morning coffee comfort. Don’t talk to me about 25,000 people starving every day while we Westerners go on diets to look better and fit into our clothes.
It’s possible to live with less stuff. It’s entirely possible to be gloriously happy without the latest home-deco your neighbor has. It’s possible to live well without shopping at Walmart or even thrift stores every week or getting a manicure every month. It’s possible to have a wonderful life with only three sweaters to choose from in your closet. You can feed guests tomato soup and toasted cheese sandwiches and still have a fantastic evening together. We don’t need all the extras we think we do. Amy Carmichael idealized living with as many things that could fit into a hobo’s handkerchief. I think she was on to something and it’s why I hated hauling a 50+ lb. suitcase from pillar to post when I was on furlough.
For a push toward simplifying, I suggest reading Jen Hatmaker’s book called “7, An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess”. It’s her account of when she simplified 7 parts of her life for 7 months as a discipline and way to assess her life. She’s crazy and disorganized and funny, and her book makes you think that if she can do that, you can cut out something in your world too. After my aunt read the book, she decided to not go to the grocery store for one month but eat what they already had in their pantry and freezer. Bravo!