01 November 2006

Over Simplifying

I realize it's very easy to throw the baby out with the bath water when you begin to wrestle with things like simplification.

Although God handed Moses the 10 Commandments, He also instructed the Israelites to approach worship and interaction with Himself in a very particular manner. Ensuring the righteousness of a sinful people as they approached a holy and blameless God was bound to require a fair amount of do's and don'ts. Please don't misinterpret me then, when I say I want to simplify my Christian walk. I want to get down to the firm foundation of my faith. I am not interested in taking communion and remembering Christ's sacrifice for me with angel food cake and espresso. To me, that type of informality insults what Christ did for humankind. Yahweh is not my good buddy. He calls me "friend," but He is NOT my pal. Simplification does not equal shallowness.

In the near future, I'll touch on materialism and consumerism, and I will issue a "use your stash" challenge. Whether it's food in our pantry, scraps in our fabric bin, Christmas wrap we've saved over the years, or socks in our sock drawer, we frequently overlook things sitting right in front of us in favor of something new and crisp.
That said, I also know there are eventualities like Avian Flu and biological/chemical warfare floating about, and we're encouraged to be prepared. Plus, you might just get the opportunity to minister to angels unaware with that unopened box of spaghetti in your pantry. Or your unbelieving neighbor, for that matter.
So, don't go purging every corner of your house, just 'cause I said so. Look at your belongings with a critical eye and a mindset that asks, "How can I best use this to glorify God and minister to others? Is keeping this item around a good use of space, effort, money, and the item itself?" If you can't come up with a satisfactory answer, maybe you ought to find it a new home. Simplification still requires stewardship.

With that, I'm going to make my family some dinner and give you all an ever lovin' break from my preachin'.


Blogger Robin said...

Hey Erin...I'm baaaaaackkkk after quite a hiatus from visiting "They Hang...". I'm loving your comments at Heather's place, and my place, for that matter. You are now officially added to my Favs, and that on my notebook, which is still very behind the 8-ball with this sorta thing. (That's why it'd probably be helpful to have a blogroll on my sidebar or tabs or SOMETHING to help me get around...oh, yeah, I should start actually using my bloglines :/).

Anyways, enough of my insanity! It sounds like you're in the middle of something here and I look forward to your future posts.... My 40+ person craves simplicity, and where I see my 30s as an "accumulation" decade, I see my 40s as a time of streamlining, simplifying. I want less, not more.

The rub comes when I SEE stuff, though--if I see it, I want it, so it's best not to go looking. I like your idea of looking around and seeing where your "stuff" might be going to better use elsewhere. Guess I'll start looking around.

3:10 PM  
Anonymous Chris said...

Erin - so weird we seem to be ruminating on the same ideas at the same time. It was probably something you said that started my wheels going -or maybe something I said that started yours - or maybe the words of a mutual friend or even our pastor...Maybe God thinks it's fun to whisper similar things to us at the same time and watch us shape eachother.

I'll say this - you bring a new light and focus to all the things I have been thinking; new thoughts to open up new rabbit trails. It's awesome that I can come here and find almost another side to the conversation already going in my mind. I can't wait to read what's next!

5:56 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

Nice to see your feet again, Robin.

I have loved using Bloglines. Still don't have their system totally figured out, but it saves me a lot of backward and forward clicking to get where I want to go. It will SIMPLIFY your blog life. ;)

A friend in TX asked me where all this deep blogginess was coming from. Since we're thinking the same things, can I blame it on you?

(She also couldn't believe I almost lit myself ablaze while trying to cook over an open fire in an Early Settlers apron. I'll just tell her that it's your co-op unit.)

7:11 PM  
Blogger rhon said...

If you want to simplify your materialism, try this. You're going to move to another state in 6 months. You need to move everything you absolutely do not need to the other state and keep only what you need to get through the next 6 months.

One, it's amazing what I do not miss. I can't remember half of the stuff that's in storage.

Two, now it may be longer than six months before we move. I sometimes wonder if we should just get rid of everything stored. Now that's simplifying.

2:23 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

Rhon, if you do an "Unopened Box Sale" once you move, you'll have my fervent admiration. And I want to see pictures.

3:35 PM  

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