Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Complexities of Simplicity

I have decided that 'simple living' is an oxymoron. Living is anything but simple. Life is a spiderweb, and maneuvering our way through it is not a simple matter. I love the way of life that people have coined 'simple living' - growing and making my own food, making much of what I use and give, natural learning. But this way of life is anything but simple. It is difficult. It is hard work. Just like following Jesus.

Matthew 7:13-14 You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.

Mark 8:34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

But just like following Jesus, travel on this difficult path is rewarding.

We have been up to our elbows in community planning. We have been working and working on trying to get this community underway. We want to be living there. We want to be living 'simply' and enjoying fellowship with our neighbors and our greater community. We want to be sharing. We want to be working the land. But trying to be simple is anything but simple. It seems like all the folks that have to plan and approve everything we do don't like to do things the simple way.

With all the codes, requirements, and regulations, there is no way we can by ourselves make this community happen. But God can! I am reminded of Mother Teresa, who with three pennies wanted to build hospitals and schools. They told her that with three pennies she couldn't do that. To which she replied that with God and three pennies, she could accomplish anything. And she did. I have to keep reminding myself of that story.

This community is going to become reality. We couldn't sell our house. We did. We couldn't buy the land. We did. We couldn't afford to rent a place to stay. Someone took us in. We didn't have the money to close on the land. The closing was delayed....and we received the money just a couple of days before this rescheduled closing. Can any of this happen without God? God can do anything. He can build this community. And He is.

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