More and more of us today are living in between a busy and complicated world. We have work, school, sports, friends, errands, deadlines, etc. And then we fill our lives with noise; we have our smartphones, tablets, laptops, Netflix, etc. It is like we do everything we can to distract ourselves from the world around us. The thought of simple is missing.
The problem with this comes to a whole host of medical and mental health issues that are crippling us in our everyday lives. From anxiety to stress and from heart attacks to strokes, yet we fill our minds and our lives with ever more noise.
Do not even get me started on social media and its destruction of basic human morals and values. Now, do not get me wrong, some of these things benefit society, but often they are not.
Every morning, I have this routine, I get up, pray, and then drink a bottle of water. Next comes coffee and sometimes breakfast. I take my Bible, and I sit in a quiet house, and I read. Sometimes I take it outside, and I smoke a pipe while I read.
The morning routine grounds and centers me. The days that I fail to follow this ritual are the days that I generally fail at accomplishing my tasks. My routine happens without a TV or a radio or a cell phone or a tablet. My routine is my communion alone with God. My routine focuses on my mentality and removes all distractions.
Ultimately that’s what our busy lives are; it is a routine or even a ritual to distract us. Now I’m not talking about some big elite world government conspiracy to mind control the slaves, I’m talking about us as men and our desire to not deal with what is difficult and challenging, so we distract ourselves.
That’s what pornography is, a break from the real world. That’s what our video games are, that’s what Netflix is, and that’s what our nightly news does for us. There are distractions. The question is, why are we so focused on distracting ourselves.
I have a theory on that. My theory is that we have surrounded ourselves with such complexity that we overload our minds, which requires us to take a break instead of working things throughout the day over some time so that our brains can absorb and retain and work and build. We’re at a point in human history where we’re shoving as much information into our brain as possible at one time, and quite often, that possibility is impossible; we don’t realize it.
I have been called old-fashioned and old-schooled. I have been called a tree hugger, an earth worshipper. I have been called outdated and out of place. And the reason for all of these things is my love for and my desire for simple things.
Keep is simple
I enjoy working with my hands. I enjoy doing things the way many people would look at as the hard way, and I enjoy traditional things. For example, I recently went through a hurricane where I lost everything. If you follow my Twitter account or you’ve been reading my articles the past couple of weeks, you would know this. As I discussed in the article last week, there was an extreme outpouring of love and support from people. One of those acts of love and support was not monetary. My family received a box of soup.
This gift alone was one of the most special and all that we received. I expressed my gratitude by sending the sender a thank you letter. I did not text them, call them, email them. I wrote them a letter with my hand on a piece of paper. I stuck said letter in an envelope, and I placed the stamp on the envelope, and then I took it to my local post office, and I handed it to the postmaster, and I never said a word to anyone about what I was doing.
Not only did I write a letter with my hand and with a pen and paper, but I used a quill pen dipped in ink, and I signed the letter with wax and a signet stamp. I created the most personal thank you that I could think of creating to express my appreciation for the simplicity of the received gift.
The financial support and well wishes of those around me were remarkable and outstanding. Having been fed out of love, a hot meal after spending all day working cleaning up from the hurricane was terrific. The gift was simple, and it was personal and filled with love.
You see, from the soup to the quill and ink to the handwritten letter to the Postal Service, everything happens in a way that is not normal anymore. And then away, I am quite thankful that it is no longer normal because it is recreated an element of happiness out of something so simple.
My story’s moral is that I think it’s about time to look at our lives and see rather than not going back. Too simpler things can launch us forward into the morality in character that we so desperately need today.
I’m not saying everyone needs to use a quill and inkwell. Still, I am advocating for old-fashioned handwritten letters. Old school phone calls on a landline will require you to sit down next to the phone and talk, giving the other person your undivided attention. I am calling for going out to eat with your family on Sunday afternoons or visiting the grandparents on Saturday. I am calling for people to turn off their TVs, set down their cell phones, close their laptops, and spend more time in their present world.
Maybe simplicity isn’t for you, or maybe it is, but you’ll never know until you try it for yourself.
1 Thessalonians 4:11 – and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands…”
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