All of the decisions and plans that happen during the busy seasons of the year can feel like a huge mountain to climb. In an effort to encounter these times with a different mindset, I began to ask myself these questions:
- Do you feel that each day is overscheduled?
- Have you ever had to collect your scattered self so that you could make an important decision?
- Do you ever lay awake at night thinking about all you have to do?
- Do you ever ask why your life is so full?
Simplicity may sound like an oasis in the desert during this time of year. I spent last week in the high desert of New Mexico on a pilgrimage exploring the landscapes and religious communities near Abiqui, New Mexico and Ghost Ranch Presbyterian Retreat Center. On our last day there, we traveled to Plaza Blanca (The White Place), made famous for some by Georgia O'Keefe's art of this geologic landscape. It is a unique landscape of sculptures of volcanic ash that has been eroded by wind and water for a long time. Long before I arrived and long after I left. This was one place that was an oasis in the desert for me last week.
My time there reminded me that living simply is not about deciding to get your life under control but about giving control of your life to God.
I think that in times like these, God calls us to assess our situation and take some time to retreat for a few hours, a day, or a weekend to reflect and prepare for all that the busy seasons of the year require. I would invite you to reflect on when Jesus talks about wealth and worries in Matthew 6, his message is simple: seek God, trust God, and receive God.
How can we live simply in a consumer focused culture?
In the midst of all of the busyness, how can we focus our lives on seeking God, trusting God and receiving God?
How might these responses effect the way we enter into this day or then next busy season of our lives?