Simplicity - the state of being uncomplicated; freedom from pretense; directness of expression.
Every six months or so I experience a purging attack. I want to eliminate the waste, de-clutter, and simplify closets, cabinets, and calendar. For as long as I can remember, I have yearned for clean lines, simple lifestyle, few frills. Shortly after marrying David, I tried to explain my obsession as a time saver, an organizational gene in overdrive, etc. However, I'm realizing this craving for life (in all it's facets) to be simple has a deeper root.
I am [FINALLY] working my way through Elisabeth Elliot's Discipline: The Glad Surrender. For 4 years this book as stared at my from its self, but I've been too scared to read it. Why? Because I know that contained within it's pages are challenges, life altering stuff that I just haven't wanted to face. But God has given me this year to explore and grow my relationship with Him and at His urging I've begun. Elliot quotes Katharine Day Little from her biography on Francois de Fenelon a seventeenth-century French archbishop stating, "Simple and orderly living was the secret of his power and efficiency, for his austerity was in reality a purposeful and rational expenditure rather than a self-conscious mortification. It represented the beauty of an orderly and clean mind that naturally turned away from gaudy gewgaws and the disorder of the unnecessary."
This quote launched an "ah-ha!" moment for me. Much this world has to offer has never appealed to me, this I believe is a personality thing. But the more time I spend in communion with God the less alluring even those few pleasures seem. There is so much we are told, even within Christian society, we need or ways life events are to play out. How many of those "necessities" could I give up? What would the benefits be of relinquishing them? Do I consistently cultivate self-control in my life?
"Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed." I Peter 1: 13 It's really hard for me to set my hope fully on what I have already been given by Christ (and even harder to find contentment in it) when my mind is cluttered or I am not practicing self-control. Yet when I choose what is holy my relationship with God expresses itself differently. I feel a change in how I pray and what those times of communion produce.