What a ride I have been on to appreciate that word.
Simple is the only way I can describe my last ten months or so. It almost seems like a contradiction to say so thinking about everything I’ve done:
-Chaperoning a World Youth Day trip to Poland
-Moving to Italy for three months to study abroad
-Visiting six countries, dozens of famous cities, and countless historical/holy sites
-Coming back to reality and becoming re-acclimated to college life/finally realizing what being a Theology major consists of (AKA I’ve done more reading for my classes this semester than I think I’ve ever read in my life)
Honestly, the list is endless and probably boring to anyone but me…but throughout this craziness and busy-iness, and work work work, the only word I can use is SIMPLE.
You see posts everywhere about simplicity: “10 Ways to Simplify Your Life”, “Simplify Your Home”, or “Simplify Your Schedule”, and the list goes on…everyone seems to be trying to simplify everything. All these posts and articles seem to point to one thing: that simplicity means having everything in place. Everything is perfect, there’s no messy-ness, no clutter, no mess-ups.
But what I’ve learned this year is a different aspect of the simple life: simple life in Christ. Don’t get me wrong, Christ is awesome and mighty and SO BIG we can’t even wrap our brains around Him. Yet, life with Him is simple because as a friend of mine pointed out to me, He is CONSTANT. It’s not that He takes away the messy-ness of our lives, but instead He orders it by becoming a priority in our lives…and then everything else falls into place.
I needed something radical to make me understand this truth and luckily Christ sent me a bunch of beautiful friends, some old, some very new, who challenged me to radically strive for sanctity through simplicity this semester.
These men and women and I gave up almost as many pleasures as you can think of for 90 days (snacking, sweets, unnecessary shopping, drinking, overeating, social media, TV, secular music, etc.) and dedicated much of our days to times in prayer, not because we are great saints, but because we desire to be and we needed a re-ordering of our lives to set us back on track. It was hard, it was messy, it was time-consuming, overwhelming and sometimes stressful to accomplish everything in one day, and yet, it was simple.
Yes, life was simple because so many distractions were taken away, but it was especially simple because we replaced those distractions with Christ. I guess what I’ve learned most of all is when you put Christ at the upmost center of your life, you’ll want to simplify everything else because all of a sudden nothing else matters except following Him.
Radically striving for sanctity is possible for all of us, we just have to jump in and trust the Lord will bring us the means, the support, the strength, and the joy to do so.
If you want to take up the same challenge, or something similar, look at the following links for ideas…and DON’T immediately tell yourself you can’t do it. You CAN.
*Disclaimer: These challenges are dedicated mostly to men, but a group of my friends got together to slightly adapt it to women (like adding no unnecessary purchases and no gossiping).*
(PS: I’m working on a new logo to simplify my blog a little more so hang tight…the one up right now is just a tester)