November 2, 2006

Leading a Simple Life

I lead a simple life. I recommend it to everyone. I start my day by making coffee. I seldom read newspapers because the occasional news programs on television seem adequate to me. The outdoors is more appealing to me than being closed up and surrounded by four walls. I feed my birds in the winter and have a dog and a cat that always seem to eat too much. I live in a modest home. I don’t see the point in owning a new vehicle. My car is reliable and relatively good on gas mileage, so I’m satisfied.

I like to garden and digging in the dirt gives me a peace that may seem strange to many. I have always been in awe over the way a tiny seed is planted, and a short time later, takes on an entirely new form. I attend church when I am able and don’t feel guilty when I can’t be there. If there are fellow church members who judge me on this, I don’t let it bother me. I know I don’t have control over their ideas. I pretty much try to keep my head down and live my own life. I don’t interfere in the lives of others but I try to help them when they let me know they need help. There are things in life that I fall short of. I neglect doing things and regret that I don’t have more hours in the day to get more accomplished, just as most do. My memory is not what it was when I was 18, but whose is? One of my shortcomings is impatience. In the days we live in, having patience with ourselves and others is big a virtue. I don’t get entangled with political issues, although I do like to watch C-Span occasionally. I do write about my nation of America because I feel pressed to do so.

Being contended in all things allows you to live a simple life

If you can live in a tent just as well as you can live in a mansion, you are contented.

If you can eat peanut butter for weeks when everyone else seems to be eating steak, you are contented.

If you can walk into a store and only look but not pull out that credit card, you are contented.

If you can walk around in old sneakers instead of having to have a new pair of shoes, you are contented.

If you can drive a beaten up $500.00 bargain from the corner car salesman just as easily as you can a Mercedes, you are contented.

If you can look at your neighbor’s house, the nicest home on the block and not feel jealousy and envy rise up in you, you are contented.
Philippians 4:11-13

11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

A complicated life breeds stress

In order to live a life above that which we were never meant to live, we see something we feel we must own. When we get it, we must pay it off eventually because the majority of purchases we make these days are via plastic. In order to do this, we must work more. Along with this comes another shortage of time spent in rest or with our families. Do you have to have a newer automobile? No, of course you don’t. Would you like one? Most of us would. But in order to be able to lead a simple life you must make wise choices and not ones that satisfy the flesh and emotions. We can usually trace the complications and stresses in our lives back to choices we made. Those choices added complications, stress, and disorder to our previously ordered and simple lives. Sunday is meant for our rest. I didn’t use to take this seriously and so I would run around on a Sunday just as I did the other six days of the week. But I honestly believe that the Lord intended for us all to rest on Sunday. We might be shocked at how much better we would feel come Monday, our start of a new work week, if we would observe this day of rest.

Keeping up with the Jones’s

If you attempt to live similar to the way your friends or neighbors do, you will have many sorrows. What we have today in America is too many precious people running about, attempting to own a home, boat, second home, vacation homes, two cars, you get my meaning. They cannot seem to get enough of the things of this world. These people are not content. It takes money to get the things they feel they must have. And in the end, getting the money is what steals our time away from our families and those we love. So you would do yourself and those you love a huge favor by slowing down and choosing to live a simple life and being contented with those things you do have rather than being unsatisfied over the things you don’t.

Don’t get tangled up by the things of this world

We don’t have to get entangled and have our minds be clouded by the things of this world

Even though I do lead a simple life, there are still areas in my life I need to change for the better. This applies to all of us. The stress and everyday trials that make up our lives are bad enough without us making them worse by repeatedly making bad choices. If your life seems to be a complicated, jumbled up mess, you need to remember that we brought nothing into this life and it’s a sure thing that we will not be able to take anything with us when we exit this life. We can have peace of mind that comes from living a simple life. There is a place we can get to in which we have peace no matter what storm is raging outside of us. No matter what fears and surprises tomorrow may hold for us, we can know for sure that all will be alright. The calm that comes from knowing that no matter what you lack in your life, the true gem you hold is in knowing your savior, Jesus Christ and that he cares for you and is watching out for you. In closing, just remember that in order to live a simple life, you must gain contentment:

1 Timothy 6:

6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.

7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.

Hebrews 13:5

5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

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