simplicity, Ash Wednesday, and things that matter

“Remember, you are dust and to dust you shall return.”

With those words, my pastor applied an ash cross to my forehead.  A dirty, gritty, tangible reminder that one day I will die.  Turning around, I saw that same reminder on the foreheads of each member of the congregation, including my wife and my children.

We are mortal.  Our days are numbered.  Our time here is fleeting.

What does that have to do with simplicity?  Answer this question: How will you spend your days?

You can spend them running the rat race, keeping up with the Joneses, and pursuing the American dream…all the things we’re ‘supposed’ to do…or you can spend them on things that really, truly matter…

  • Instead of standing in line at the Apple store to get the newest shiny gadget, take your children to visit widows and widowers in a nursing home.  The staff will be quick to tell you which residents don’t get many visitors.
  • Instead of buying a new car when your eight year-old one runs just fine, invest some money in others by investing in a micro-lending organization.
  • Instead of paying rent for yet another month at the self-storage place, clean out your storage unit/garage/closet and give of your abundance to those less fortunate.  Take the things you don’t really need to Goodwill, a shelter, or somewhere else equipped to get them in the hands of those who need them.

You are dust, and to dust you shall return.  Live simply, simply live.


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