Earlier this year, I asked the Lord to give me one word that I could meditate on all year and have the Holy Spirit use the Bible to really solidify a character change in my life. That word was “Simple”. And this is how the conversation went…
[Insert the Dana/God dialogue…January 1, 2010…begin story now!!!]
D: “I need some direction for this year…I feel like I am floating on a sea of oblivion right now. Give me a word or a phrase that I can really take hold of and use it to change my heart and become more Christlike this year.”
D: “Okay…I’m ready…any time now, God…if you feel like throwing down a divinely inspired word for me, I’d really appreciate it. Hello?”
D: “Well, I know it’s simple…you’re God…but I would really like to get moving on this “character change” stuff. I’m beginning to think that this request is a bit more complex than I originally intended. How about you just clue me in on one letter…instead of a whole word with a bunch of letters.” (I’m a little slow sometimes…and often in a hurry, too.)
D: “Rrrrriiiiigggghhhhhtttttt…I think I got it this time. Maybe I should just listen the first time.”
I’m going to be completely transparent here…the Lord has been extremely gracious and has provided numerous opportunities for my heart to hear a “word in season” from different sources. Sometimes I hear the message and heaven rejoices. Quite frankly, sometimes I reject the message all together and decide that it must not be something I need to hear (ahhem…pride…welcome to the show). What an emotional roller coaster at times…”simple” has rocked my world and it’s only May.
[Insert an example of how I actually listened to the Holy Spirit…begin story now!!!]
A few months ago, I really wanted to go to MOPS…but Naomi was CRABBY and I had my doubts that she would last longer than 5 minutes in the nursery. I was right. She cried her head off. However, the lovely grey haired ladies were able to get Naomi to calmed down enough so I could listen to the speaker. And boy howdy was I glad that I had the opportunity to hear her speak!!! What a great message about simplicity in the area of home and time management. She reminded me of a few concepts that I already had in my mind, but somehow failed to related them to the word “simple”.
Rebecca Stuhlmiller talkes about a simple home…simple clothes…simple speech…simple schedule…and simple dedication to God. HALLELUJAH!!! Now that’s what I’m talking about. She goes on to say, “It’s not about being rigid, inflexible, or legalistic. And there is no one perfect standard for all. I definitely still have my areas where I’m not simple!! It’s a process. But pursuing simplicity has resulted in greater peace and productivity. I’m looking forward to incorporating the concept more intentionally into my writings and speaking.” (emphasis mine) Thank you Lord for sending me Rebecca right when I needed her.
[Insert an example of how I’m really lame and have a hard time listening…begin story now!!!]
Recently, the decision to delete my Facebook account was done, in part, because I wanted to pursue the word “simple” in all areas of my life. Facebook had ceased being “simple” and I kept telling God that “simple” didn’t apply to social networking sites. End of story. You’re wrong in this area, God…because you are out of touch with the needs of this generation. (Insert nose snorting and laughing right here.)
You would think at this point in my life I would understand that God really does know what He’s talking about. Especially since He’s all those “omni” names…you know…omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence (Latin derivatives used to identify the theological constructs pertaining to God’s power, knowledge and presence.) Eventually, to the detriment of my waist line (see previous post), I did come to the realization that Facebook was everything but “simple”. Thank you, Holy Spirit.
[Insert a list of great scripture verses…so I can be reminded of God’s Truth when I want to make things more complicated…begin list now!!!]
1 Corinthians 7:29 (The Message) “I do want to point out, friends, that time is of the essence. There is no time to waste, so don’t complicate your lives unnecessarily. Keep it simple —in marriage, grief, joy, whatever. Even in ordinary things—your daily routines of shopping, and so on. Deal as sparingly as possible with the things the world thrusts on you. This world as you see it is on its way out.”
Proverbs 13:7 (The Message) “A pretentious, showy life is an empty life; a plain and simple life is a full life.”
1 Thessalonians 4:11 (New Living Translation) “Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands…”
Proverbs 15:16 (The Message) A simple life in the Fear-of-God is better than a rich life with a ton of headaches.
Zechariah 8:17 (The Message) “…Keep your lives simple and honest.”
Luke 6:31 (The Message) “Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them!”
Mark 6:9 (The Message) “…Keep it simple.”
1 Corinthians 2:1 (The Message) “I deliberately kept [the message] plain and simple: first Jesus and who he is; then Jesus and what he did—Jesus crucified.