striving toward simplicity

Life is just plain busy…for almost all of us, almost all the time.  From the time we wake up in the morning until the time we crash in our beds at night, we’re on the go, always connected, continually struggling, and often overwhelmed.  I propose that, instead of finding a better way to ‘get things done’ in our increasingly chaotic world, we need to find the energy, motivation, and support to simplify.

Why?  Because the things that matter most in an ultimate sense are suffering–our relationships.  Our relationships with our spouses, our relationships with our children, our relationships with one another, and our relationships with God.

Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not suggesting we lose ourselves in some romantic notion of ‘the good old days.’  Technology is a wonderful thing, and we are doubtless living in the most remarkable time the world has ever known.  I am one of the first to champion the smart use of technology to make our lives easier.  The ability we have to communicate worldwide in an instant would seem miraculous to those who lived just a century before us.  The opportunity to jump on a plane and be anywhere in the world in a matter of hours is almost like time travel…

But we’re addicted.  Sound crazy?  It’s true.

Our ‘always on’ world has generated a multitude of means to receive instant feedback on every thought, picture, keystroke, and idea we have…and we’re hooked because it makes us feel indispensable.  We struggle to focus on the precious time we have with our children as our smart phones chime away to let us know the emails are coming in–reinforcement that someone finds us important enough to include us on the conversation.  In the moments we have to be with our spouses at the beginning or end of a hectic day, we’re distracted by the latest ‘reality’ show or the ‘need’ to know the latest news stories from around the world–because we want to be able to weigh in on conversations online or at work, not that these things affect our lives in any significant way.  During those minutes during the day where we find ourselves truly alone with the opportunity to reflect, think, or pray, we get uncomfortable and instead jump on Twitter, Facebook, or our favorite RSS reader–because the noise in our own minds is so deafening that we’ve forgotten what it means to truly slow down and enjoy some peace and quiet.

There’s a better way.  The way of simplicity.

It’s the way of healthy relationships as we focus on truly being with those around us.  It’s the way of true joy as we once again find enjoyment in the multitude of tiny blessings that fill our days.

It’s the way to change the world as we free ourselves from chaos and find ways to serve others.

That’s what this blog is all about…living simply that we might simply live.

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