Saturday, January 3, 2009

Only One Thing Needed for Simplicity

The new year always brings with it new resolutions. One that I really want to accomplish this year is to simplify my life. But how do I do that? My first thought is, "I need to cross this thing off my schedule and get rid of all that stuff in the closet, and...." But, really, simplifying my life can only happen by adding something to it, not by taking anything away. In fact, if I take away this key simplifying agent, my life becomes stressful and complicated even if I have the perfect schedule and live in a house that is perfectly organized and outfitted.

This thing that I refer to is the "one needful thing" Jesus talked with Martha about in Luke 10:38-42. He praised Mary, who chose to sit at His feet while Martha's life swirled around her, distracting her, till she became anxious and demanding - even toward Jesus.

There is an old phrase - keeping tryst - that describes Mary's time with the Savior. What does that mean? "Tryst" is an old word we are unfamiliar with, but its meaning is simple and rich: an agreement (as between lovers) to meet at an appointed time, at an appointed place. To keep tryst with God therefore means, first of all, that I regard Him as the Lover of my soul. That says volumes! When I first realized that I loved the man who is now my husband, there was nothing that could stand between he and I seeing each other; and the plan to meet again - exactly where and when - was never neglected before we had to part from one another.

By keeping tryst with Jesus, I find that He reminds me of those things that are needful and pours forth His sweet Spirit within me to enable me to do whatever He asks with love. And regardless of the simplicity or complexity of my day, if I have met with Jesus and continue to commune with Him, I can meet the challenges with peace of mind. Simplicity really begins in my thought life. I can be harassed with just one thing in front of me if I am not empowered by the Lord.

My life is simplified also just by the contentedness I will have in Jesus when I keep tryst with Him. I will not be coveting all the stuff that's out there. As I became more contented in Christ, I asked Him to cut me loose from all the stuff I had collected over the years. He did. The period of time that followed that prayer I call "the year of broken glass". I broke so many knick-knacks - things I had really been fond of. Each time another item fell out of my hands and onto the floor in pieces, God reminded me of what I had prayed for and I was able to say, "Thank you, Lord. You are simplifying my life"

Jesus cut right through all the unnecessary with Martha also when she finally suspended her busyness to speak to Him, though it was in demanding tones. He said to her then and continues to say to us now, " are worried and bothered about many things; but only a few things are necessary, really only one...". Mary chose that one good thing, the one thing that would never be taken away from her - sitting at her Lord's feet, keeping tryst with Him.

The most amazing thing about keeping tryst with the Lord is that I will probably do more with greater ease than I would have had I not met with Him. And the things I do will be empowered by Him and will also have eternal effects. As long as my eyes are on Him, I will not become distracted, worried and demanding. He will order my day and my mindset also. Simply put, I will recon that I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

Keeping tryst with the Lord - it means that He is the Lover of my soul, that I am intent on hearing His every word and command, that I make my plan to be with Him at a certain time and place everyday, and that when I leave I am already anticipating the next time I will be with Him. Is this not the primary way we exhibit our love for Him? As a result, He orders my day. Acknowledge Him in all your ways and He will make your paths straight (Pr.3:6). He will go before you and simplify your day and your mindset. Neglect this one needful thing and He has told us what will happen, "Without Me, you can do nothing" - nothing, that is, which is of eternal value, nothing, that is, but being worried and bothered about life's demands.

As we begin this new year, join with me in this commitment - to keep tryst with the Lover of our souls. It really is the prerequisite to any other new year's resolutions you may have in mind. Then you will be able to do all things, simple or not, because of His empowering strength!
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  1. Well said...very well said. Thanks for the reminder though we all KNOW this but we do need to hear it again and again. And I understand the "year of broken glass." He will take things away from us and it's OKAY. And we feel okay. Thank you.
    (I saw your link on Laurie McCauley's FB.)

  2. Thanks for the encouraging comment, Christine. It is so true that we must continue to be reminded. As far as all the things I lost that year, now I can't remember what a single one was. "Out of sight, out of mind" is a very accurate maxim.

    Hope to hear from you again sometime soon.

    Gotta' love that Laurie! Right?