Chapter 12: "Health Through Simplicity"
- Along with contentedness, I think this is another very appropriate topic. I can readily see how simplicity aids in financial, physical, and time margin, but still don't see a clear connection with emotional margin. Maybe some more thinking will bring the answer.
- The fact that Jesus "was born with nothing, lived with little, and died with nothing" (page 171) reminds me that material resources are not the gauge for how much a person can affect those around him.
- I appreciate his emphasis on inward simplicity before we try to put into practice outward. If our heart is not content with a simple lifestyle, I think it would just be a drudgery, and more of a frustration than a blessing.
- What simplicity is: voluntary, free, uncluttered, natural, creative, authentic, focused, margined, disciplined, diligent and healthful. Some thoughts about these:
* I needed to be reminded that it is voluntary. My willingness to live such must be anchored, or others' lives/opinions will drag me away from simplicity.
* When we prepared to move to Moldova, we got rid of much, let quite a bit behind, and only brought a few things ... and yet we still look at things and wonder why we brought them! Being uncluttered is living simply, yet we can "unclutter" and still be rather ... cluttered!
* "Passive entertainment can dull the sense of wonder God has placed within us." (Page 172) Without all the extraneous things, it is easier (more necessary?) to be creative.
- What simplicity isn't: easy, legalistic, proud, impoverished, ascetic, neurotic, ignorant or escapist.
* The most needed reminder for me was that simplicity isn't proud. With anything we do, it is so easy to think highly of ourselves because of the "good" we do. I know a temptation for me is to look down on others for the areas in which I am living simply, but they are not. May God help me to get this pride out of my life!
* Appreciated this: "God is a good Creator, and He has created a whole world full of good things. It is not wrong to use them- they were made to be used. But our material appetites must be controlled." (Page 175)
- "Gratification of our appetites has become a widespread goal not seriously challenged by the Church." (Page 176) Ouch!!
- I think simplicity is another quality that each of us have implemented to some extent in our lives, albeit in different ways. However, I think this chapter was a good reminder/encouragement for us.
I've had my say, what say you?
Discussion on Chapter 11
Discussion on Chapter 13