God made us simple, but we have made ourselves very complicated. Ecclesiastes 7: 29
David gave the Welsh people rules to help them live simply for God. A growing number of Christians make a Rule of Life today. Some do it for the good of their soul, others do it for the good of the poor in other countries who receive unjust payment for what they produce; some do it for the good of nature, to prevent natural resources being squandered.
William Penn the Quaker observed: ‘People must follow the 10 commandments of God or they condemn themselves to the 10,000 commandments of men’. The saying of Jesus in Matthew 5.8 basically means ‘Blessed is the person whose motives are unmixed.’ Consider the effects of being pulled in more than one direction: Stress levels, and the vast increase in National Health requirements; dishonesty, and the vast increase in bureaucracy; family break-down. Even in the church, it can mean committees and meetings to satisfy every conflicting demand. These use up the energy and time that should be directed to one purpose only: being Jesus for others.
We wish to ‘live simply that others may simply live’, to avoid any sense of judging one another; and God will make different demands of each of us. Our common responsibility is to regularly hold before God (and, as appropriate, to share with our Soul Friend) our income, our savings, our possessions, conscious that we are stewards, not possessors of these things, and making them available to him as he requires.
A simple lifestyle means setting everything in the simple beauty of creation. Our belongings, activities and relationships are ordered in a way that liberates the spirit; we cut out those things that overload or clutter the spirit.
From the Way of Life of The Community of Aidan and Hilda
Too long have I worried about so many things.
And yet, my Lord, so few are needed.
May I today live more simply – like the bread.
May I today see more clearly – like the water.
May I today be more selfless – like the Christ.