Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Simplify

    Today I read a blog post by Bill Hybels, who is the founding and senior pastor of Willow Creek Church. Lately I have been feeling very "cluttered."  I used that word to Matt today. I said that my head felt so cluttered that I felt like I was at a bit of a standstill. I do have a few deadlines looming and, as always, a running to do list but nothing horribly stressful. I read this quote:

"Simplified living is about more than doing less. It’s about being who God called us to be, with a wholehearted, single-minded focus. It’s walking away from innumerable lesser opportunities in favor of the few to which we’ve been called and for which we’ve been created. It’s a lifestyle that allows us, when our heads hit the pillow at night, to reflect with gratitude that our day was well invested and the varied responsibilities of our lives are in order.
If we don’t change how we live, our overcomplicated world will begin to feel frighteningly normal. We will become accustomed to life at a frantic pace, no longer able to discriminate between the important and the unessential. And that’s the danger: When we fritter away our one and only life doing things that don’t really matter, we sacrifice the things that do matter. Through more misses than hits, I have experienced the high cost of allowing my life to get out of control. My desire is to spare you some of the pain of learning these lessons the hard way.
In my experience, a handful of key practices are vital to keeping my soul clutter-free. These practices help me overcome the barriers that keep me from living the life “to the full” that Jesus promises in John 10:10. But there are no shortcuts to simplified living. Untangling yourself from the overscheduled, overwhelming web of your current life is not for the faint of heart. It’s honest, rigorous work. Action is required. That’s why you need to answer those nagging questions about what keeps you in bondage to such frenetic, cluttered patterns; and that’s why you need some hands-on practices for eradicating clutter from your soul and moving toward a simplified life. Don’t let an intellectual nod to the concept of simplified living inoculate you against making actual changes in your life. Rather, apply real solutions with courage and grit." (from Willow Creek's blog
      I read it and thought  "Yes, that's kind of what I've been feeling lately."  Then I realized that this quote was an excerpt from a book- a book that is sitting on my "to read" shelf. Has anyone read it yet? If so, what were your thoughts?

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