I just finished up a series called “The Hard Things” in our church. We tackled the issues that we as believers wrestle with, and cause tension in our lives like Jesus and politics, miracles, prayer and other things… Through the journey of this series, we discovered that a lot of what we have been taught collides with what we believe and what we have actually experienced.
“When you sit in tension, beautiful things happen.” Donovan Steinberg
For all the efforts that we spend in trying to get out of tension, the best things happen when you sit in them and try not to escape… beautiful.
“No stringed instrument can be played correctly unless the strings are under tension.” Kevin Rose
I just launched a new series is called, “Simplify: Living in the Rhythms of Jesus”. Of course, the night I was going to introduce this series we had to cancel service due to a quick winter storm that blew through…hmm…probably a good sign.
I thought this would be an appropriate message for this time of year, when we are scrambling to buy the perfect gift, making sure we spend enough money on each person, and worrying if they like our gift or not. The stress around the holiday season is multiplied exponentially, when in actuality it should be about family, time, adventure, and living a better story. Remember what Jesus said, “Take my yoke (Hebrew for lifestyle) upon you, and learn of me….and you will find rest for your souls” Jesus
What are the things in our lives that are causing more stress than they are worth?
My cousin Josh just did something that I am so proud of. He traded his high tech smart phone in for a simple flip phone…his reasoning? The “Smart Phone” was taking up too much of his time. He found himself on it all the time, checking FaceBook and other social statuses, playing games, and surfing the web. This left little room for the things that really mattered to him: Family, Life, and real productivity.
I wonder how many languages I could have mastered by now if I were to take all the time that I’ve invested in conquering levels on “Angry Birds” or “Candy Crush” and spent them on things that really mattered?
“Do our kids really need another plastic race car, fake toy dinosaur, or video game? What they really need is culture, travel, adventure, and a better life story.” Brock Meyer
Can you take a look at the things in your life that are supposed to make it easier, and it reality it steals more time than it’s worth?
If you think this is about tech bashing, or living a life without technology, then you are missing the point. Technology is inevitable, that box has been opened, and it will increase as we roll along. The true message in this is “Can we manage our time, resources, and families in balance? Can we live simple lives and in reality live freer?”
“Instead of piling on more stuff this Christmas, we want to invest in experiences. so our kids have adventures, stories.” Brock Meyer
I’ll be honest with you, this is going to be a challenge to speak on. I am plugged in to the “grid” just about as much as one can be. Ironically, the message of simplicity is being blasted all over our church FB page…which is connected to just about every other social website out there…weird.
As a pastor, I have asked God to always give me “fresh ideas and messages” to give to His people. He pretty good about fulfilling this request. But in doing so, I have to be taught, challenged, and changed by the very messages that I bring…I’ll be honest. It sucks sometimes…
I’ll keep you all posted on the progress of our simplicity. There’s really nothing new under the sun. People were busy with the “stuff” of life in Jesus’ time just as they are now. the key to true life fulfillment, is to live in the rhythms and patterns of Jesus.
“It’s all about freeing yourself to live the purpose of why you are here!” Brock Meyer
I’d love to hear the ways that you are simplifying your life…Please feel free to leave comments!