Advent Reflection Series #4

Where could you use simplicity in your life?

Usually, I try to keep things simple. I have a relatively new car with a lot of nice electronic features, but I don’t use any of them because they complicate things. If the car drives, it’s good enough. I don’t use any software beyond Microsoft Word while I’m writing because to learn it would be to make something that already works for me (a regular document) very complicated and therefore frustrating. At work, they’re trying to make us learn all these different editing software programs, and to be honest, I couldn’t care less because it makes my job more complicated. I don’t want to waste time checking behind the software to make sure it didn’t create errors.

But that’s not to say I couldn’t use even more simplicity. Right now I’m looking around the apartment, which is filled with baby stuff and Christmas stuff and writing stuff and books, and I’m getting overwhelmed because it’s a lot. Material things, as useful and as necessary as they are, tend to complicate, and I like as few of them as possible. If there are tons of things lying around, and my desk and counter and kitchen table and closet are cluttered, then my brain is cluttered too.

Too cluttered to fit God in.

I’ve always thought that God appeared to more people “back in the day” because their lives were simpler and they had more time, fewer “things,” and therefore more opportunity to encounter him. They could focus on God rather than figuring out the latest gadget or rushing to the store to buy a ton of Christmas presents that are ultimately unnecessary. Their minds were less cluttered. It’s almost the same way with people who have “simple” minds, like children. They are closer to God because their minds are uncomplicated by all the “stuff” in the world.

So as we get ready for Christmas, it might be better to take some time to de-clutter our minds… or de-clutter our spaces so we can de-clutter our minds. As one of the cards I got from a baby shower said, “Babies don’t take up mushroom.” Neither will the baby Jesus, so all we need is a little sliver of space. It might make all the difference.