Innerweave: The Wholeness Story
There is always another book on the market that purports to tell us how we can get the most out of our daily living. One that teaches “The Art of Stress Free Productivity” bears the title Getting Things Done, by David Allen. It is a worthy read, but lacks a basic component, that of “simplicity.” At a place where I regularly sit down, I have been reading a work by Richard Foster with the title Freedom of Simplicity. Here is a quote both memorable and quotable:
“We struggle with the problem of competing responsibilities that all demand our attention. Like Jack’s beanstalk. Our obligations seem to grow overnight. We are trapped in a rat race …. We pant through an endless series of appointments and duties. This problem is especially acute for those who sincerely want to do what is right. With frantic fidelity we respond to all calls to service, distressingly unable to distinguish the voice of God from that of human manipulators. We feel bowed low with the burden of integrity.”
But we do not need to be left frustrated and exhausted from the demands of life.
The Christian grace of simplicity can usher us into the Center of unhurried peace and power. Like Thomas Kelly, we can come to know by experience that God “never guides us into an intolerable scramble of panting feverishness.” In simplicity, we enter the deep silences of the heart for which we were created. As a well known mystic once declared: “The older I grow the more clearly I perceive the dignity and winning beauty of simplicity in thought, conduct, and speech: a desire to simplify all that is complicated and to treat everything with the greatest naturalness and clarity.”
Midst what to you may feel like “an intolerable scramble of panting feverishness,” think of simplicity as a possibility for peace as well as productivity.
By Wil Alexander, PhD, Professor of family medicine, School of Medicine