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Thursday, December 31, 2015


 Say what you wish, but the Church responds to people’s needs.  These needs often go well beyond material or survival needs; though those are what stands at the front of the line.  Our church just finished an entire month focusing on mental illness.  Society as a whole has been working to educate one another about the issue in response to the mass shootings that have tragically become all too common.

 In this week’s church bulletin, I noticed a new class starting in January based on the book Simplify by Bill Hybels.  The subtitle of the book is “Ten Practices to Unclutter Your Soul.”  He did a sermon series on the topic some time ago which I listened to on my commute around that time.  I enjoyed the sermons and am sure the book and my church’s program are great.


I cannot bring myself to sign up.  It lasts four weeks and the designated class time is 6:30-8:00 PM one night per week.  Can you see the irony in this?  They are asking me to add another task to my agenda to free me from a task plagued agenda.  I guess I need to get worse before I get better?

No. Seriously, I get it.  Sometimes we need to go around the block to get to our desired destination.  Short term pain for long term gain.  I am familiar with the concept.

Yet, I am overwhelmed and overbooked already.  Commitments to work, training, church, bible study, and being a husband, father, handyman (ok, that’s a scretch) along with a dozen other things have taken me to capacity.  Do I need to simplify my life and cut out some of the peripheral garbage?  Heck YES I do.  The problem lies in identifying the garbage or clutter that stands between me and God, me and contentment, or me and just feeling rested.

It all just seems so important to me that cutting out any of them or portions of each is unacceptable.  What if I complicated my life for four weeks only to learn that I am just destined to live with a full agenda.  All the time.  That relief comes at a cost I am unwilling or unable to bear.

I say No Thank You.  It would be good for you though.  Well, I do hope that a lot of people sign up.  Sometimes you just know something is going to be good.  Like the new Star Wars movie.  Someone tell me I’m wrong here.

So that’s it.  I’ve officially tossed the bulletin in the trash.  There is some freedom in that.  I seems as though I have just released some of the internal pressure.  Saying NO in some ways is saying YES to a simpler life.

Run in Peace, Rest in Grace