Spiritual Disciplines // SIMPLICITY & FASTING
As I (Andrea) sit writing this in the Fireside Room at church, it has been nearly a week since the ice storm hit. We still have no power and no internet at our home in Silverton, so I am catching up on things here at my home away from home. I am finding it somewhat ironic to be writing about the discipline of simplicity at a time when for many of us, life has been forcibly stripped down to essentials.
Warmth, shelter, food, water….for many amongst us, life has been whittled back down to focusing on the basics. There have been fewer choices to make because the options have been limited. We are not deciding what to watch out of the hundreds and hundreds of choices on Netflix or Hulu, because they are simply not available to us. We have been in a period of circumstantial “fasting”. We have spent quiet evenings at home reading or playing games with our families, often by candlelight. The question remains – what do we choose when the power comes back on?
Yesterday, Pastor Chris reminded us that in order to attain many of our goals for strong marriages, stable financial situations, healthy bodies, vibrant spiritual lives and more, we must make hard CHOICES – repeatedly – along the way. We must have discipline. We must choose “ a long obedience in the same direction.”
In her book, A Place Called Simplicity, Claire Cloninger asserts that “Most of us in this culture travel a road that is overgrown with options, and we won’t get very far without developing some skills at choosing…. (We need to) recognize and make.the kind of hard choices that make our lives simpler.” This author also insightfully notes that Jesus voluntarily limited his options, laying aside his omnipotence in order to identify with us and thereby “ was able to show us the power of a simple life obediently lived.”
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.1 Timothy 6: 6-8
By the time you read this, hopefully, most of us will have power – electrical power as well as volitional power – what will we choose?
- Read Matthew Chapter 6. Consider how you have received your “daily bread” this past week. Think about how much more you usually want than this.
- Pray the “Lord’s Prayer” (Matthew 6: 9-13) out loud. Think about what is essential.
- Although the past week has caused some hardship in our lives, think about the simplifications that have occurred that you appreciated. Consider implementing some of them into your daily life. Candlelit game nights, anyone??