There is much to learn in life, but it is best to learn how to live. When we are young, we have little doubt that life holds great promise. We have things to accomplish, places to visit, and people to love. However, it is the rare young person who puts these compelling issues in perspective. For most of us, the importance of spiritual principles and a relationship with God is a realization that occurs much later in life. By this time, we may be somewhat bruised by our experiences, but we need not be embittered, for we can live the simple life.
When life is simple, our awareness of God is as central to life as the air we breathe. For instance, when the body is sick, we want to be healed; but when life is simple, there is a greater goal: allowing God to reveal to us our innate spiritual wholeness. Then our healing can “spring up speedily” (Isa. 58:8 RSV). When resentment and anger hound us daily, the issue is not the other person and what he or she has done to us, but our willingness to let God show us the way of love.
Jesus said, “Seek first his kingdom ... and all these things shall be yours as well" (Mt. 6:33 RSV). This is the foundation of the simple life. It is God we want, and when we find our Creator, we find joy and contentment. The things that happen to us, our memories, and our possessions are significant, but nothing is as important as our relationship with God. When the simple life is lived, the earthly experience flows from our oneness with God. The divine Fountainhead is the source of life and its many experiences.
The simple life is a life of prayer—more listening and waiting than speaking and asking. We seek the kingdom by seeking an awareness of God, for we know this consciousness is the fountain of life and the answer to any human need.
We can think of prayer as a meeting between God and ourselves. God, of course, knows us well, but we know little about our Creator. There arc times when we speak, but we do not let our every word be about our needs and what is happening in our world. Friendships do not develop when one person does all the talking and is constantly asking for assistance. Powerful relationships unfold when we listen.
When we are in pain or fearful or concerned about loved ones or ourselves, it may be difficult to listen and to wait. Yet we remember the Scripture, “They, who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles” (Isa. 40:31 RSV).
As we wait and listen, the mind may wander. This is when we speak—not to tell an all-knowing God about our situation, but to affirm our faith in the Almighty and to gently, bring our minds back to God. If we have a healing need, our prayer might be: I am made in the image of God. I am one with the pure life God is. There is no sickness in me. Praise God! We speak in this fashion, and then we wait for God to reveal our wholeness. It is important to understand that in the simple life, the focus of prayer is the kingdom of God.
When our reason for asking, seeking, and knocking is for a relationship with God, we receive in ways that transcend our earthly desires.
The simple life is a life of letting, for letting is God's way. Humanity’s way is to control and make it happen. To beg, bribe, cajole, manipulate, and use logic or guilt is to try to get our way.
Life is too mysterious and all-encompassing for these methods to bring happiness. When knowing God is our purpose and prayer is our method, we can let go and let God be God in our lives. We make ourselves available to God. We can be assured that when our awareness of God is made manifest in our world, it will bless us and those around us. …