Archive for November 16th, 2021

Simplifying Our Lives


Written by Ken Shigematsu, a contemporary Canadian pastor and author. This is an excerpt from his book “God in my Everything.”

As friendship with Christ changes our hearts and our desires we may find that some of our material possessions not only fail to bring us true fulfillment, they actually come between us and God. We may experience a desire to de-clutter our lives so that we spend less time and energy cleaning, maintaining, protecting, and worrying about our stuff. As we offload our possessions, we may feel lighter, but we may also discover that not everyone is as enthusiastic as we are about our choice to simplify. Choosing the way of simplicity may prompt some to wonder if we’ve lost our minds. When monks enter a monastery and take a vow of poverty, giving away their worldly possessions, some people think that they have gone crazy. Others feel sorry for them. But monks don’t choose the way of simplicity because they are crazy. James Martin, a Jesuit priest, graduated from the prestigious Wharton School of Business and worked in finance for General Electric for several years. He describes entering into the Jesuit community as a novice and the experience of giving away his possessions: “My money and care went to my parents. My suits would sit in my parent’s house in case the novitiate didn’t work out (I wasn’t taking any chances.) The rest of my clothes went to Goodwill, which would distribute them to the poor. My books went to friends who dropped by one sultry afternoon to scour my bookshelves…[Writing more than 20 years later] I can still remember the initial burst of happiness I felt. How liberating it was! No more worrying about whether my suits were the proper shade of grey, my shoes the right brand, my ties the appropriate hue, no more worrying about whether I should rent an apartment or buy one. No more worrying about whether I needed a new this or new that.”  While you may not take a formal vow of poverty like James Martin, you can also feel the joy that comes from simplifying. Resist the cupid arrows of the advertising industry by muting ads on television and choosing to not buy the latest gadget just because others seem to have one. Learn to distinguish between want and genuine need and you will enjoy more of the inner freedom that springs from simplicity. Perhaps you may even feel led to take a further step by giving away something you truly value.


Written by Christine Sine, a contemporary author and speaker.

Lord help me to live simply,

To give my life and all I am into your hands.

Help me to unclutter my closet,

For I have too much stuff that takes me away from your presence.

Help me to unclutter my calendar,

For I am often too busy to focus my attention on you.

Help me to unclutter my mind,

For I have too many unguided thoughts that distract me from

Your instruction


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