Simplicity by the Lake

As promised I’m sharing some of the photos from our getaway to a cottage called Simplicity. Now the funny thing is that most accomodations begin by giving a list of what is included – a pool, cable television, breakfast and free shuttle service. But the wonderful thing about Simplicity what it doesn’t offer!

Having four days of no cell service, no tv, no internet or even a daily schedule were an amazing blessing. Instead we discovered a flock of turkeys sleeping in a corn field, a deer grazing in the backyard by our car and a mist rising from the lake at dawn. Most of all there was time to pray and to talk things over with God. Busyness is often the excuse I use to put off till another day what God wants changed right now.

Last year after our first stay at the cottage I couldn’t wait to go back. Now I am wondering why I can’t allow more space for quietness right where we live. I learned that slowing down didn’t mean doing nothing, but instead allowing time for what mattered most. Simplicity is not just a cottage by a lake. It is a choice that Jesus is calling for us to make. What will you do with the 24 hours He is giving you today?

For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you. 2 Corinthians 1:12 ESV

Show Me The Way

Show me Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day. Psalm 25:405 NKJV

Often when David got in trouble, he went to the wilderness of Judea to hide. This Psalm is really his prayer and it had a lot of practical as well as spiritual meaning. In the desert finding the right way could mean the difference between life and death.  P1040698That reminds me of one day when I was twelve. My friend and I decided to spend that Saturday afternoon exploring the woods behind his house. We loved the mystery of discovering whatever lay just over the next hill and watching squirrels playing high above us in the sugar maples.

 

Eventually we came out to the shore of a lake where we lingered for a while skipping stones over the water.

P1040691 It was a great day until we tried finding our way home. Without fence lines, streams or other landmarks to follow we plodded aimlessly through dense underbrush without success. After an hour finally, we burst through some buses and found ourselves on the road about a mile from Steve’s house.

P1040702  When life feels like wandering through a forest God knows the way. When we ask; “Show me your ways.” He answers; “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father but by me!” John 14:6

 

Simplicity

For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you. 2 Corinthians 1:12 ESV

Last summer we were blessed by some friends with the invitation to stay for free at their cottage which they call Simplicity. We spent three glorious days there watching eagles fish in the lake and enjoying quiet days walking or reading as there was no TV, internet or cell phone access. It was a refreshing time of refocusing our hearts and relearning how to truly decompress from the craziness of 21st century life.  P1040658

Focus is what the Apostle Paul meant when he said they lived with simplicity. He did not allow anything to the obscure the simplicity of His Christian life. When we get mixed up with unnecessary entanglements of our time, thoughts or relationships we lose focus. Time alone on a week-end retreat may help for a while but Paul tells us that God’s solution is for us to have a life lived in complete reliance on grace. When things start to blur the focus of our soul; we need to stop and ask God to clear our minds of clutter so we can once again live simply by the grace of Jesus Christ.

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