It’s a strange thing how we resist simplifying our lives because it involves giving up something. I have been resisting giving up in several areas of my life and now that it’s coming to my attention, I’m realizing the cost I have been paying (there’s always a cost). This is not my situation, but consider the person who has lots of “stuff”, so much stuff that in order to live in a reasonably ordered world, they have to rent a storage space to put it all in. They no longer have easy access to their stuff, they usually forget what they have, but they pay a monthly cost. Somehow this seems entirely wasteful.
One of my areas of struggle is paper clutter. So much comes through the door in the mail, catalogs, ads, magazines, that I can hardly keep up with it. I can think of things I want to do with some of this paper. There are great recipes to try, info for the garden, ideas for sewing or clothing I might want to order. I even keep some catalogs just for the colorful paper in them which I will someday use for artistic purposes (yeah, right). The cost I pay is frustration trying to make things look clean and beautiful around the piles of magazines, and the stress of trying to find the one thing I know is in one of them but who knows which one… Believe it or not, I also spend quite a lot of time attempting to file things that probably don’t need to be kept at all. My friend Karyn inspires me to throw stuff like that away because there’s always another magazine or idea on paper out there somewhere when you get time for it. I’m inspired but have not actually sprung into action, yet.
I also need to simplify the demands on my time. I’m tired of never having a full day at home to work and just enjoy being there. I can’t do much about the time I spend at my job, except continue to emphasize to Scottie how much I enjoy and need time off. But the weekend is another story. I often find myself at three different church services, mostly because I love to be involved with the music and enjoy being a helper. It’s not that this much activity is necessary to my worship life, in fact sometimes it hinders by it’s inherent busyness. I’ve begun to work in this area. Last week I told my Saturday night worship leader that I was going to cut back, and I declined to do the worship service in his absence this week. This is the giving up part, and it is a bit hard when you like the people and enjoy the activity. I will wear this decision for a while and see how it feels. There is a freedom here that I think God will either confirm or correct.
Dennis and I were talking about our committments to organizations and churches last week and he gave an interesting observation about himself. He says whenever he is tempted to join himself to people or activity of some sort he considers how hard it will be to part from it in the future. We are not people who part from things easily, yet life is all about parting and departing. I really should try to get more comfortable with the whole idea. More on this is coming…