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Apr 13, 2018 613 0 Miriam O'Neil
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Simplicity

Consider the lilies, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin, yet I say unto you, Even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these (Luke 12:27).

Simplicity. Peacefulness. Orderliness. Serenity. We were created by God in His own image to live in harmony with each other and nature. The inherent nature of God is one of simplicity and orderliness. The different seasons of each new year consistently pass by in a simple, orderly fashion. Crops grow, new life begins in the animal kingdom, all within a sequenced order and precision, usually without the assistance of man. The flowers bloom in early spring and throughout summer, then go into peaceful slumber in the fall and winter. There is order and simplicity in the very essence of nature and so also is the heart of man called to the virtue of simplicity.

We live in a fast-paced world where simplicity and orderliness have all but gone by the wayside. From the moment we awaken to the moment we go to sleep late at night, our days are filled with constant, non-stop activity. From work, to school, to evening activities, we are busy, with little time for what is truly important in life. There is much social pressure to be involved in various outside activities, from sports, dance, church activities and community involvement. So few families are eating home-cooked meals together anymore. Instead, dinner is either picked up in a haste and eaten in the car, while driving from one activity to another, or frozen meals with little nutritional value are hurriedly reheated at home in between activities, with little interaction among the family members. This is not to say that all extra-curricular activities are wrong, only that they need to be done in moderation so that God, family and relationships are placed first, above activity. Meal times nourish both body and soul and give family members a chance to reconnect after a busy day. Simplifying our lives allows for this and strengthens the family; non-stop activity interferes with family members having the time to truly connect with each other.

Everywhere we go in modern-day society we are bombarded with advertisements to purchase yet another item that will supposedly make our lives easier and simpler; instead, they contribute to the ever-growing amount of clutter in our lives. Clutter distracts us from what is truly important. It calls out for constant attention, needing to be either used, cleaned or organized in already too-full spaces. It fills our non-existent spare moments with activities that distracts us from God and others. Its constant demands for our attention leave us with little time or energy for anything else, yet we continue unnecessarily adding to it and the cycle continues, draining us of our peacefulness and serenity.

The busy, materialistic society in which we live leads us to having very little time for what is truly important—board games that could be used for family time sit on shelves unused while we tend to outside activities and other material items we have, especially computers, video games and hand-held electronic devices. How many families take time to spend time together outside of extracurricular activities or the internet anymore? How often do we take the time to go sledding, play baseball in the yard or catch butterflies with our children? How many of us know who are neighbors are? We are more connected through social media and less connected with each other. Through the virtue of simplicity, letting go of unnecessary possessions and limiting the time spent on electronic devices and outside activities, we are given the freedom to make time for what is truly important in our lives and further deepen our relationship with God and each other.

Simplicity. The virtue of letting go of what is not important and of opening our hearts to God’s presence in our lives. Simplicity leads to orderliness, peacefulness and the significant reduction of stress created by non-stop activity and clutter. Simplicity unites and brings us back into harmony with God, each other and His creation. By focusing on what is truly important and letting go of what is not, we then have time for each other and to contemplate on God’s unfailing love and mercy for us.

Miriam O'Neil

© is a writer who shares her thoughts in her blog miriamscorner.org. Being college educated, Miriam has worked as a therapist in long-term care before getting married and becoming a stay-at-home mother of six blessings, along with three special angels in heaven. She prefers a simpler lifestyle with raising chickens, quilting and gardening. When she is not busy taking care of her family, she enjoys writing and working on her blog.

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