I am in a reading group with Renovare online and we are currently working our way through a book on spiritual disciplines by Nathan Foster, son of Richard Foster.
Nathan is much more raw in his struggle with spiritual discipline. What Richard Foster wrote on always sounded like a glide into tranquility. I knew it wasn’t, but it just sounded that way. Nathan writes like you’ve been shoved off a mountain ledge and you’re hitting every rock, tree, and shrub on the way down.
It’s an honest discussion.
This week one of the chapters is on simplicity. My life is so full of junk and desire for more junk, it didn’t matter how Nathan would have written this one. He wrote with much more calm, but it still feels like a tumble over boulders and shrubs.
“Simplicity is not necessarily about depriving ourselves of worldly things but about being content — content to have or do without, free to give but also receive. It’s about living free from the trappings of society that keep us from following Jesus’s counsel to ‘seek first the kingdom of God.'”
If I am rooted in Kingdom living, I am free to receive things from this world… and free to give them up. It’s that “free to give them up” part that lodges in my throat and chokes. The distractions of stuff keep us from the beauty of the divine center… yet it is so hard to give it up.
We are moving toward Lent and I know the challenge this year will be on true fasting for me and then giving up a portion of technology. There is a freedom I need regained in my life. Freedom from the tyranny of stuff. It’s just that the road to that freedom is full of rocks and potholes and downed trees.
Lord, help me be truly free in my walk with you!