Tuesday, December 20, 2016

simplicity 2016: jesus the minimalist

Last week, I got to share about this topic of simplicity with my intern family at Serve Seattle.

Maybe this is super silly, but you guys, it was so much fun.

The process of gathering information, researching, compiling everything I've learned, creating a power point, sharing with the group and then being on the podcast - it was all amazing.

I think sharing what Jesus is doing in your life should feel amazing, right?

When my friend Kyle asked me to speak on simplicity, I asked him if there was anything in particular he thought I should land on. His response was basically just this, "Yeah, just share your journey and then also share what Jesus says about simplicity."

Oh yeah... Jesus.


Sometimes, I get pretty involved in my projects, and forget to check back in with the Lord about it.

I hear what He wants me to focus on loud and clear, but then I forget to check back and see if there is more He wants to say.

In preparation for this talk, I was amazing at what Jesus had to say about minimalism and simplicity.

For instance.....

The Rich Young Ruler - This dude. This dude said he wanted to follow Jesus. Even become one of the disciples. But when Jesus asked him to do exactly as the disciples had done, and give up everything to follow Him, he just couldn't let go. His things and the false sense of comfort they gave him mattered more in the moment than the life changing act of following Jesus. If I am being totally honest, I am not sure that I wouldn't have also hesitated. Because as much as I love Jesus, and as much as I try to practice simplicity, I still get alot of joy from my things...

Mary and Martha - Jesus comes to hang out. Mary sits and learns. Martha storms around the house being pissed because her sister isn't helping her. Jesus tells Martha to calm the heck down and be more like Mary. I usually feel sorry for Martha, because it totally would've been me, but not this time. This time it stood out to me that Jesus never asked Martha to do all that extra work. He just wanted to teach her. He wanted to give her a gift that most women would never get to have. And she was cleaning. Priorities Martha.

Breakfast on the Beach - You know how in the book of John, Jesus makes breakfast for the disciples on the beach? What stood out to me in that story was that Jesus prepared this simple meal, in a simple way, in a simple place so that the purpose of fellowship wouldn't be lost. How often do I try to plan the perfect thing only to have the heart of the matter be lost in the process.

I guess I shouldn't have been surprised, but I really was. Jesus had so much to say about our relationship to our stuff and His desire for us to focus on the things that matter.

I still feel like I have a long way to go, but man, this year has been a lot into perspective for me.

My five most reflective take away's were:

  1. Less stuff means less managing which means more time for the things I love.
  2. Handling the unknowns and the curve balls of life feels less terrifying.
  3. I am a better listener because my mind isn't full of things that don't matter.
  4. Making decisions based on what I want not what I think other people expect me to do.
  5. Jesus wants really good things for me, and He is bring them into my life now that the unnecessary is out
There are a hundred other things I could write, but then this would be a book and that's not #simplicity.

Maybe you are thinking about a life that is simpler, more easy, less overwhelming and stressful. I'm by no means an expert, but I can say that it's changed how I am walking through this season of life. 

It's changing how I interact with people and it's changing how I decide what I want my future to look like. 

Which is an incredible empowering thing to feel. And that's what it's really about. The journey and what we gain by traveling it. Not just what's at the other end waiting for us.

"The goal of simplicity is not to have the least amount of stuff; it's to have the most room in your heart for things that matter."

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