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Friday, 26 May 2017

Less is more

Recently I picked up my copy of Eugene Peterson's "The Message" and these words from Psalm 4 have been on my mind and digging into my heart again fresh the last few days:


Why is everyone hungry for more?
"More, more," they say.
"More, more."
I have God's more-than-enough,
More joy in one ordinary day
Than they get in all their shopping sprees.
At day's end I'm ready for sound sleep,
For you, GOD, have put my life back together.
Psalm 4 -MSG

For the most part, I'd consider myself a contended person, but there are times, wobbles, when the doubts, the wants and the "what ifs" creep in.  It's the moments where my eyes have slipped, and my ears have begun to listen to the world around me, instead of The Voice I know to be Truth.  It's a slow fade.  A drift.  A subtle stealing of joy.

Recently I heard someone use the analogy of a frog being thrown alive into a pan of hot water... it will immediately try to jump out before it's boiled alive!  Put a frog into a pan of cold water though, and warm up the water gradually, and the temperature shift will go unnoticed, until it's too late.  Quite the morbid picture, but a warning all the same.  The culture we live in, the world around us, will tell us things that so often we believe without even realising. One of the more obvious ones is the constant need for more.  "More, more"... "More, more"...  I believe that to be one of the biggest joy-stealers and hinderences to living out who we were created to be that we can listen to and take on board.  It will eat away at our contentment and satisfaction without us realising if we're not careful

So, that got me thinking to where I've been believing that in my life, and why.  Sometimes less is more.  Simplifying and learning to close out a lot of excess "noise" in our lives is a great starting point to rediscovering our "true self". How might a change in that direction help to bring some peace and contentment back into your own life?  A shift of perspective?  How about some of these to get you thinking... 

Less stuff, more space

Less talking, more listening

Less doing, more being

Less watching, more reading

Less spending, more giving

Less consuming, more creating

vk

For more, take a look at these related posts:

Why doing less is the best way to do more

Living slow and urgent

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Rest

Rest.  What does it mean to you?  Maybe it's taking a break from the kids; cup of coffee in hand and a good book.  Maybe it's a day off work to explore and discover places you've never been before.  It could be on a beach sipping a drink with an umbrella in the top or enjoying a well-earned Mars Bar at the summit of a mountain climbed.  

In our busy days and busy world, where accomplishments and achievements seem to reign supreme, is it even possible to truly rest?  Quiet is something most people are uncomfortable with and being alone equals loneliness for many, but what if those two things are keys to true rest...

"Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for Him..." Psalm 37:7

"Be still and know that I am God..." Psalm 46:10

Have you ever tried being still and quiet for 5 minutes?  It's a strange thing, especially if you're usually a "go-go-goer" like me!  But seriously, there's a time for everything and there's definitely a time for rest, a time for quiet, a time for being still.  It's a letting go, a breathing deep, and a release of control in many ways.  For me, it's in those times that I'm able to listen for God and to wait on Him.  They're moments to reset, recalibrate and regain perspective.  Without these moments/hours/days of rest, we're in danger of drifting and being dragged in a direction we never intended going in.  Maybe we're busy climbing a ladder, only to realise when we get to the top that we were leaned up against the wrong building.  Perhaps we're afraid to stop for fear that things will fall apart without us, or that we'll fall apart without the things... 

We were never made for a 24-7, 365 kind of striving.  A never-ending push for more.  Even God Himself created for 6 days and rested on the 7th. (Genesis 2)  It's in the resting, the listening, the silence, the solitude that we find our "true-self," we allow Him to help us re-discover who we were created to be.  It's in the resting that we learn to more than just survive...

vk

For more on this read these related posts:


Re-dicovering your true self

It's often a good book that sparks my need to blog and share the wisdom and inspiration I've been reading!  Somehow the writing helps to cement it all in and give weight to what I'm processing for myself.  So really these posts are often just what I'm learning and growing in, and I share them in the hopes that they might inspire you too.  

This post then is no exception.  I've just recently finished reading a book called "Emotionally Healthy Spirituality" by Peter Scazzero. It's been an interesting read, and there's things in there that are prompting me to make some specific changes in my life.  Some great nuggets of wisdom and I'm selectively choosing to share just one... maybe to tempt you to read the whole book for yourself!


"Living your God-given life involves remaining faithful to your true self.  It entails distinguishing your true self from the demands and voices around you and discerning the unique vision, calling, and mission the Father has given you."


I have seen and continue to experience this to be true in my own life.  I believe that God has created each of us unique, and with great purpose.  We all have different gifts, talents, interests, abilities and things that get us fired up!  Yet, in a fallen world, these things can get lost.  Our cares of what others might think of us, the pursuit of security, comfort, position, success, wealth, popularity can take over. The overwhelm of busy days, crammed schedules and a never ending to-do list can push out our "true-self".  We end up running in survival mode for too long and never really thrive.  


So how can we close out some of the noise and get space and band-width to rediscover who God created us to be?  I'm going to be blogging through a bit of a series on some of my thoughts over the next few weeks.  Come along and journey with me? 


vk

For more, read these related posts:

Living with purpose

What's the point?