Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Involuntary Simplicity

Flood Image"Simplicity does not mean that all conform to uniform standards. Each must determine in the light that is given him what promotes and what hinders his compelling search for the Kingdom. The call to each is to abandon those things that clutter his life and to press toward the goal unhampered. This is true simplicity." 'Faith and Practice' of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (1955)

What could be simpler than simplicity? "Abandon those things that clutter." Get rid of the excess that fills up our time, creates anxiety, and distracts us from the goal of living in the Kingdom.

A group of people from Plainfield Friends helped clear out the waterlogged house of one of our families that had the misfortune of living on the side of Martinsville, IN that was underwater when the White River flooded. Almost everything they owned was under water.

We helped them pick through and find the little that was salvageable. Everything else was piled in front of the house. It would be scooped up by the skip loader, put into a dump truck and left at the land fill.

It got me to thinking -- What if I had to throw it all away? What if all my "clutter" was about to be loaded into a truck and taken to a landfill?

My feelings were very mixed. Simplicity isn't such a simple thing!

And then I remembered the words of one of the people whose possessions were about to be taken to the dump. She said, "This is an opportunity to start over."

In the face of unexpected loss, financial stress and an unknown future -- it is an opportunity to start over.

That is at the heart of the Good News that we trust in and live by -- It is an opportunity to start over.

pastor Bill

(Click on the picture for more pictures from the Martinsville Reporter-Times)

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