Recently, I got a reminder that life is much more manageable when we keep it simple. For some reason, many of us are programmed to want more things, more responsibility, more money—a higher status. I have learned that more is not always necessarily better.
When I think of the life of Christ, I see a very powerful life; but I also see that He lived a life free of the love of things, status and money. He was humble. He had what He needed, but he didn’t live in a castle or have servants attending to Him—eventhough He certainly could have had those things and much more.
I believe that Christ was trying to tell us something. I believe His life represented the simplicity which should characterize our lives here on Earth. When we don’t need much to make us happy, we then have a greater chance at happiness.
Not long ago, my wife, children and I had the pleasure of visiting with a friend who I hadn’t seen in a long time. My friend was just like I remembered… a free spirit. This young woman has a quaint, comfortable home—just large enough for her, her husband and son. The furniture fit just right—again, enough furniture—but just enough. She told us while we were there that she didn’t need much to be happy. She said, “I’d rather not have some things and be able to stay home and raise my son, than to have abundance and have to work to maintain a certain lifestyle.” As always, I was impressed by her sense of priorities and lack of worldliness. Her willingness to keep it simple will undoubtedly be of benefit to her young son. Because she is willing to go without some things, she can give more of herself to her child.
It is a personal choice to want more and need more. If we choose to have our lives defined by how much we have or who we are and what we do, then we must also accept the stress that comes along with that lifestyle. It sounds somewhat crazy to say this, but when I see the panhandlers on the street, many of them seemed to be less stressed out than those of us who have cars and homes. The panhandler usually is only concerned with how much change is needed for their next meal or how they will travel from one place to another. We, on the other hand, are concerned with so much more. I’m not advocating a life on the streets. I, only, use this example to say that a more simple life can be a less stressful life and that through His Word, I can see how Christ was trying to convey that thought to us.
It’s okay to want nice things—hey, I must admit that I do sometimes… But, we must seek a balance that doesn’t cause us to be unnecessarily burdened down with trying to keep up with the world. We see it all the time—the quest for something bigger in life, ultimately can lead to one’s downfall— if not careful.
Re-evaluate your life. How can you make it simpler and more manageable? Can you readjust what you want and what you think you need to be happy, content and fulfilled? Opening the door to the simple life could be just what you need to reach the level of peace you’ve been seeking.