The Timelessness of Simplicity
I have done a few Kenyan weddings over the years. It didn’t take long to figure out that a 5:00 pm wedding really meant 6:30pm. It’s a cultural thing. I soon learned not to make evening plans. I once stood in a village in India talking with a widow over the corpse of her husband. He had been lying there for 2 days. He had coins on his eyelids to keep them closed. The widow was waiting for friends from distant villages to complete their journey for the funeral service. It wasn’t at all rushed or complicated. These people live differently. They operate in a different gear. Simplicity.
There is this one thing in the Bible that is sort of hard to see in our 21st century mind’s eye. Some things so obvious that they remain in our blind spots. When you picture the paralytic being lowered through the roof to meet with Jesus, notice that there is no clock on the wall. In the town square outside the temple courts, there is no clock tower. There are no watches on anyone’s wrist and no one holds a cell phone. Nobody makes a dental appointment in the Bible. Things just sort of start when people show up.
Here is a simple thought only to be negated by simpletons. Maybe we should “schedule” some parts of our lives where time doesn’t matter. “Being” should trump “doing” more often. That rocking chair on your porch or balcony isn’t a decorative item. That field or wooded area behind your house needs someone to “walk it”. There are places all around you that only sun dials are used. Maybe we should frequent such places more often. On the side of your cell phone you will likely find a button; if you depress that for a few seconds you will be given a strange option… It can be turned off. You can actually control the device! Seriously, you can.
An experiential understanding of simplicity begins in a simple context. Create a simple context for yourself today. Intentionally create a space to reflect on the complicatedness of your life and the potential need for simplicity. Sometimes rivers of complication need to stop temporarily so we can get to where we need to be.
Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing (Joshua 3:15-16).
What needs to stop flowing for you to get a grasp of your need for simplicity? We should really hurry up and get busy finding a simple place of rest and reflection where rivers of complication cannot sweep us away before our next call or text comes in. The Lord wants to lead you to a rock that is higher than yourself (Psalm 61:6). The view is really eye opening, give it a try.
New sermon series on Simplicity starts 04-08-18. www.cbchighlands.com
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