I just read a good article by Leo Babauta titled “How to: Simplify.” He lists some great elements that are relating to business and yet they are universal principles that pertain to all of life. Here they are:
- Focus on Less – it’s common to try to bite off more than we can chew. As far as my desire to de-clutter and simplify, I must realize that it is a process and will take time, planning and focus. I could “dive right in” but that would be a recipe for disaster.
- Do Less – Babauta says that you should do what you do best and stick with that. Problems arise when we spread ourselves so thin that we become a jack of all trades and master of none.
- Stay Lean – applying this to my goal of simplifying means that I should not seek any new purchases or the acquisition of more stuff. To de-clutter I must refuse the temptation to add more clutter.
- Have Less Clutter – it may sound redundant but it’s true. I must set myself to de-clutter all of my current environments i.e. car interior, home office, work office, closet, back pack… you get the idea.
Give his article a read and let me know what you think: http://mashable.com/2008/12/30/how-to-simplify/.
On the Journey,
Along the way, on each of our journeys, we meet people that influence, teach and inspire us to continue on. In this day of technology and social networking via the internet, it’s much easier to connect with people from other communities and spheres of influence… even other nations. At some point during the last year I stumbled upon a blog by Chuck Warnock. Chuck pastors a small and thriving baptist church in Chatham, Virginia.
I was immediately captivated by his site and intrigued by the things that surfaced in his writings that revealed his values. His love for community and his desire to walk out an uncluttered and simple life have inspired me. We have connected via various media i.e. email, Twitter and Facebook and will continue to develop a kingdom relationship as time passes. Chuck’s website is Confessions of a Small Church Pastor.
Keep your eyes open along the journey for mentors, coaches, disciplers and teachers who will inspire you to continue in spite of setbacks, missteps and discouragement.
On the Journey,
If simplifying my life is to begin, it must begin today, right now, in this moment. I got up at 5:30am to continue my preparation for today’s message. I decided to apply the KISS approach to my sermon for today. I have been reading a wonderful book by Fred Lybrand titled, “Preaching on Your Feet.” In this book he espouses the method of extemporaneous preaching of the Bible. He goes to great lengths to prove his point that the greatest preachers of all time never used written notes or manuscripts, but preached from their souls and heart to heart. I must agree.
Annette and I have talked about this often. She hears me preach a couple of hundred times a year (frightening thought!) and so she has an insight into what works and doesn’t work. We were visiting a church in another city a couple of years ago and the pastor, who is very well known, was scheduled to preach that day. As he began to speak he was using his notes and was quite bound to them. I quickly lost interest. However, when he would depart from his notes to tell a story I found myself re-engaging and even leaning forward in my seat. As he would go back to his manuscript I would begin to “check out” again. All that to say that Annette has reminded me of that many times and has challenged, if not pleaded with me, to throw away my notes and preach from my heart.
Today it begins. I will enter the pulpit note free. Now that’s not to say that I have not prepared and studied. On the contrary I have studied even harder and put more time into this new venture as I want to be so saturated with information and insights that as I stand before God’s people I can be rung out like a sponge.
All that to say I am applying Simplicity to my preaching. It’s the ultimate application as being a preacher is not just a job I do, but a calling identifying who I am. Nervous? A little. Excited? Very much. The embracing of Simplicity as a lifestyle must begin right where you are, whatever your vocation or calling might be. Even my message title speaks to this issue, it’s titled, “One Thing” and it’s about boiling your approach to the New Year based on one simple question, “Can you boil your life down to One Thing?” The apostle Paul did. Perhaps I can too.
Grace and Peace,
Jimmy aka Pastor J