As I have been on this Journey of simplicity I have been struck by both the importance but also the struggle of keeping things simple. I have been really impacted by the Consumer Detox Journey and found it really releasing and freeing. However as with my consumer confession, despite the impact of this journey, living simply and keeping things simple is a struggle.
Take the issue of Identity. In my heart and my bones and my very being I know that my true identity is to be found in who I am in God. A Son, A Child, A Friend and yet despite knowing this and wanting this I still struggle with this and often seek my value and identity in other places, perhaps especially in roles, jobs and responsibilities. Roles, Jobs and responsibilities are good and great things and allow us to outwork the gifts and talents that God has given us. But if, when, they become all consuming and form the basis for meaning I am forced to really question the validity of that approach.
The theme of identity and character has been a recurring one in my life, especially it seems in the past week or so. Today I heard a brilliant talk by Jenny Baker exploring the value and importance of looking at who we are as well as where we are and what we do.
I was also shown this profound article in relation to priorities and parenthood. It cut to the heart as I reflected on how I as a Parent and a Husband have sometimes gone through the motions rather than really cherishing the opportunities to be with my amazing family in a full and committed way.
Then just yesterday I spent a brilliant morning with colleagues hearing about loads of truly amazing stories of transformation. It caused us to be asked the question: What kind of people do we want to be or become? What does that profound question mean? It can be easy (or at least appealing) to try and compartmentalise life into boxes… but it just does not and must not work like this.
We reflected on the book of Philippians. In reading, in hearing these stories and reflecting on those questions it became clear that whole life discipleship will involve struggle, cost, conflict, frustration, agony and pain as well as great joy, reward and fulfilment. One without the other is not real life. One without the other is not really possible it would seem.
Its in the struggle, the mess and the honesty that life is done in all its fullness. So I want to take more steps in the discipleship adventure but to do this rooted in my true identity. God, Family and then the rest can follow. Who is is that I want to become. A person who Loves God, seeks to form character and deep rooted values. Who loves his wife, children, wider family, friends and neighbours and who from that place can then seek to outwork life in the wider sense having first and foremost that deep rooted
I will struggle and make a mess of it, but I want to do it, knowing that Grace and restoration is at hand.