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.
To enjoy things is not to possess them or to be possessed by them, but to use them. The joy of anything is the use of it.
Rows of dresses hanging dusty in a closet, dresses no one wears any longer; tools slowly rusting in a tool shed, where no one comes to work; books that have gotten yellow and brittle with age because no loving hand ever touches them or opens their pages; or a house in which no one has lived for a long time—there are few things sadder than these.
The joy is not to have a shining plane in your tool chest, but to take the plane out and plane a board with it until the board is flat and smooth and true.
To do this is to know what things are for.
The digital age has filled 24 hours with multitasking and moving at the lightning-fast pace of modern gadgetry. At any given moment, most of us are plugged in or logged on to some type of device.
But what if there were a simpler way to live, even if it’s only for one day?
One day. Just 24 hours.
Cultivating a spiritual life involves finding practices that can coexist with your normal life. Life can be complex enough; spiritual practices help us transcend what psychologist’s call “normal life stresses.” But we don’t need to make those practices complicated because we could find it difficult to integrate them into our regular routine. Have you wondered why it’s difficult to get into the habit of a new diet or exercise routine; or how about that decision you made to go back to school? When you don’t condense your life’s choices into simple steps, you will always find yourself chasing a dream.
In this broad earth of ours
Amid the measureless grossness and the slag,
Enclosed and safe within its central heart,
Nestles the seed of Perfection.
The great mystic-poet Walt Whitman, in his “Song of the Universal,” expressed a truth that most of us recognize as an ideal but not as reality. We perceive that somewhere within us exists that spark of divinity, the “seed of Perfection.” Jesus, however, said, “You, therefore, must be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
The simple life is a life of love. This life of love is complicated when we believe that we do not possess love and must receive it from another person. We ignore the truth that God is love and that we are made in God's image and after God's likeness. Love is our nature, and if we are to experience it, we must allow its imprisoned splendor to escape from within us. This is why Jesus commanded us to love one another. No one discovers love by see king it from others. This only complicates life. Life is simplified when we are more willing to express love than to get love.