Today I lost a friend.
He died suddenly, he’d been struggling with health issues…but he was so young.
It puts things into perspective for me. Bringing life, death, and this tangible reality so much closer to me, so much so that I can almost touch it…it is all that I can see right now. I know that it’s the dull ache of what’s missing. I know that it’s the raw emotions that are welling up within me, but it also makes me appreciate things a little more. The small things. The immediate things. The intimate moments with my family. The laugh that I can extract from my small 6 year olds as I tickle them just before bed time. I don’t want to miss any of this. I take these vital moments all too often for granted.
STOP TAKING LIFE FOR GRANTED!
I think I am only scratching the surface in my own life, but what I am realizing is that I have a deep need for simplicity. We often make life more complicated that it really should be. We tangle ourselves up in frustrating lives with debt, stress, pursuits of the “next big thing” and we fail to appreciate what we already have.
I think that’s the whole reason this tiny home culture has taken off. Since the housing market crash a few years ago, people have begun to see how futile the push for success, money, fame and materialism can be. We are working ourselves to death, we are becoming slaves to our stuff and we can’t seem to find the exit to this mad merry-go-round that won’t stop going around in circles. So people are downsizing, taking a step back, reanalyzing their lives and the importance of certain things.
In a very real sense it is a spiritual journey. A spiritual awakening or re-awakening in some.
How can we crave less stuff, find happiness and realize how much we have been taking the simple things for granted?
This journey towards simplicity looks vastly different to many people. I think it’s cathartic to begin the quest and to see where it takes us. I don’t want to look back at my life twenty or thirty years from now and realize how much I missed because I was so consumed in my own selfish little world that I missed my opportunity to watch my children grow up and my chance to leave a positive lasting impact on them.
Simplicity is a spiritual discipline and yet I think all too often we look at these spiritual disciplines and view them as rigid rules and the finality of a goal that seems very far off. I also believe many view simplicity as too difficult for them to accomplish or too drastic of a lifestyle to ever seriously consider adopting. Yet, every road that we journey on has to begin somewhere. We have to make a conscious decision to take those first steps. Living a discipline of simplicity doesn’t begin with a run, it begins with a crawl.
Obviously living a life within the spiritual discipline of simplicity is more than giving up “stuff”…it calls for a deeper faith, a stronger trust, a determined heart.
Questions to consider:
Am I a victim of the rat race?
Am I enslaved to my stuff?
Could I benefit from downsizing and “uncomplicating” my life?
What have I sacrificed or missed because of my present priorities (making it to kid’s events, spending time with the family, lost time with my spouse, lost time with my friends, my church)?
Living a Spiritual Discipline of Simplicity isn’t easy…no one ever said it wouldn’t cost us something; but think of what we will gain from this path. We all have to start from somewhere, perhaps it’s time to find out.
-Just something else to ponder today.
“how can we crave less stuff?” yes, that’s it.
today i am hoisting bins & shuffling keepsakes, while my son picks out the “back to the future” theme on the keyboard.
that’s where i want to be, so let’s get through this mess & be done with it, yes?
thanks for writing, scott!