I crave simplicity.
I want early mornings that are filled with reading and journaling, and herbal tea with fruit and scrambled eggs…let’s add a bagel to that order. Extended time sitting next to a window with sunlight that floods forth, filling my tank with Vitamin D by the second.
I desire to sit in nature, preferably among pine trees, breathing in crisp air. The type of air that bites at your lungs at first but eases with each breath. The type of air that feels like it cannot be tainted or polluted in any way but that it has somehow stood the test of time and remained as God intended it to be; pure.
I wish for an empty closet full of only the bare essentials, encapsulating exactly what is needed and nothing more. A bedroom with clean lines and neutral colors. A clean and kept room that does not allow for clutter because everything in it has its place. A life of minimalism in a world that bleeds consumerism.
I long for my relationship with Jesus to be straightforward, persistent, maybe some room for twists and turns, but only because they yield growth. To be able to grasp the gospel for the simple and straightforward message that it holds:
- I am sinful despite my striving to be perfect or moral. My sin separates me from God even if I put forth my best work and efforts; I cannot obtain a relationship with God through work or on my own.
- God loves me so much that He saw me in my striving and made a way for me to be in relationship with Him by sending His own son Jesus Christ to live a perfect life and die the necessary death as a sacrifice for my sins and the sins of the world.
- The grace shown through Jesus’ act of love and mercy is extended to all, even the ones who feel impossibly far from God. I have the ability to accept the grace and Jesus Christ into my life and in doing so my sins are forgiven and I am made right with God. Slavery to sin erased, freedom abounding.
- My eternity secure through the faith I have placed in Christ through the grace He has extended. So simple, so sweet.
As equally as I yearn for simplicity my instinct is to overcomplicate everything.
My desired slow mornings are spent with me dragging myself from drawn sheets that seem to weigh a thousand pounds, sleepy-eyed and lacking motivation for everyday tasks. Dressing, eating, and all things productive seem to require all that I have to give, leading me to spend my free moments scrolling instead of fruitful time in the Word.
Sitting in nature breathing fresh air seems impossible at times seeing as I live in the great northern tundra, Minnesota. The subzero temperature holds me indoors most of the year. But truly the cold is just a poor excuse to not bask in the nature and beauty that is winter. Even when the sun shines I find a reason to complain about being outside, typically blaming the pesky mosquitos buzzing about.
My bedroom is a pit. I cannot for the life of me keep it clean for any extended period of time. Dirty clothes on the floor, receipts and bills sprawled across my desk, and unkept bedding. There is a closet full of sentimental clothing articles of which will never grace this body of mine again. The clutter consumes me.
My emotions run wildly. One moment I feel pure joy and the next I am overly contemplative, leading me to quickly spiral down a tunnel of thoughts, pulling me further and further from the joy I once felt. My faith is strong until it isn’t. I quickly forget the truth of the Gospel that was once obvious to me listed in the bullet points above and then I am hit with shame and guilt because how can a born-again Christian have questions and periods of doubt about the one thing that is literally the source of their life.
Maybe you have experienced some of the same conflicting thoughts or desires for simplicity amidst the complexity that is your thoughts. Or maybe you have felt ashamed of your emotions and confusion and feel beyond fixing or repair.
I am here to tell you that you are covered with an encompassing blanket of grace by the God of the universe and He loves YOU. Even when you think that you are too far gone and your mistakes cannot be undone, His grace extends beyond your failure and He will forgive you. And when you go even further, His love and mercy meets you there with open arms. Quit striving and allow yourself to sit at the foot of your Savior. He will bring you the simplicity that you are seeking.