Spiritual Discipline - Simplicity
"Simplicity is an inward reality that results in an outward lifestyle. Both are necessary. .”- Richard J. Foster
Three key attitudes of heart help to summarize this internal focus. If what we have we can receive as a gift from God; and if what we have we know is to be cared for by God; and if what we have can be available to others when it is clearly right and good, then we are living in the inward reality of simplicity. But if what we have we feel that we alone have gotten; and if what we have we believe is up to us to hold on to; and if what we have we cannot make available to others when it is clearly right and good, then we are living in duplicity. Always remember that simplicity is both a discipline and a grace. It is a discipline because we are called to do something. Simplicity does not just fall on our heads. We are to take up a consciously chosen course of action that involves both group and individual life. It is also a grace: a grace because the life that comes from our efforts is given to us by God. We know this by experience, for the results are always far in excess of the effort we put in. The life which simplicity brings is a supernatural gift to be graciously received. In the midst of the Nazi terror, Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “To be simple is to fix one’s eye solely on the simple truth of God at a time when all concepts are being confused, distorted, and turned upside-down.”2 Such a focus will set us free from double-mindedness and enable us to cut through the Gordian knots of life.