Following up on the last post’s thoughts, I am finding myself more and more fascinated by the discipline of simplicity. I think it was in the most recent episode of the Renovare podcast that I heard it suggested that the discipline of simplicity isn’t so much a discipline we do as one we inhabit.
Such a notion makes sense when I expand my understanding of simplicity to be both an active thing and passive thing. In one sense, I actively interrogate thoughts, patterns, and behaviors — deliberately asking if something distracts me from what truly matters. But in another sense, simplicity is ultimate passivity — it’s a disposition that is willing to sit and be patient, rather than try to fix everything. It’s admitting that I can’t control all circumstances.
Oddly enough, there is increased freedom for more focused activity in this. It frees me to be more present whether having a cold drink with a friend, reading a book, or talking with my wife. Simplicity gives me permission to be present to these things because, in that moment, it’s not my responsibility to handle the other things, because Christ cares for them. This isn’t to say it’s permission to be flippant, but it’s permission to trust.
As an anxious person, this is terrifying and freeing. The attitude of simplicity is something that does not come easily. Yet, the amazing thing about it is the truth that underlies it; The greatest simplicity of all is found in the knowledge that even my distracted and overloaded failures are taken care of.