Friday, March 8, 2013

Simplicity

 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” Mathew 8:20 ESV.

 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal,  but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" Mathew 6:19-21 ESV.

When I told my mom that I wanted to lead a life of simplicity, I don't think she was very pleased.

"How can you lead a life of simplicity if you always liked good stuffs?" she asked me bewildered.

And she had a point. I love good stuffs, perhaps as much as everybody else. I love my tech gadgets, I love my TVs and movies.

In my novitiate commitment ceremony with InnerCHANGE, where Simplicity is one of the 7 seven commitments that we take, my mom was crying, saying "if this is the life that you want and choose for yourself, then I support you".

I have a nasty past with money. When my mom told me that I like good stuffs she was making a gross understatement. I love good stuffs.

Even though I never really made large amount of money, I always spent disproportionate amount of it in crap that I liked and never really needed.

I accumulated and accumulated, even in my poverty. You see, greediness and the storing up of treasures has little to do with how much money you make.

My desire to go to college was to get a comfortable job that could enable me to get a big house in the suburbs, a nice comfortable car, and endless gadgets to satisfy all my geeky needs.

And then something happened, a call from God that called to an even deeper desire, a desire long forgotten and buried so deeply in my other superficial desires, that it was necessary for God to slowly uncover it, polish it, and bring it to the surface.

This is the desire to be more like Him.

I'm not saying that in order to be like Him we need to be poor. But I believe that if we are focused on our personal prosperity, and that is the goal and focus of much of what we do, then we are running in opposite direction of the gospel.

Jesus, the son of God, told a scribe that wanted to follow Him that even though foxes and birds have a place to live in, He, because of His mission on this earth, didn't have one.

He was basically telling the scribe "are you willing to lose all your prestige and power, your possessions and social standing, in order to become my disciple?"

Granted, not all of us can be apostles or teachers or prophets. All of us have a place in the kingdom. Even millionaires, investors and businessmen.

But all of us are called to be like Him, and to be like Him is denying ourselves of what we fancy as entitlements. Our pursuit is not happiness, wealth and comfort. As disciples, our pursuit is Jesus. Everything else is secondary, even country and law.

I still struggle with money. My love for good stuffs still overrides my commitment to simplicity. But I'm glad that He is patient with me, as He guides me in my stubbornness.

So I'm not writing from a place of experience or moral authority but a place of personal struggle. I'm writing from a place of countless personal failings in this area.

But more importantly, I'm also writing from a place of desire to be more like Him, no matter how far away I am from that goal.


4 comments:

  1. Wonderful post. I can definitely feel that tension in my life, in an opposite way - I love to save. I have a hard time spending and my giving level to Church has slightly increased but not by much in the past years.

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    1. Hey Trista,
      Good seeing you here again. I'm terrible saving money, I spend most of my money every month, which is I think a terrible habit.
      I also have to be honest, this spending leaves almost no money left to the church.
      I hope and pray we can both find balance!

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  2. This is an excellent post. Just excellent. I love how you relate personal experiences to teach a modern day parable.

    This is writing at its best. Thank you.

    God bless.

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    1. Thanks Victor, you are too kind.

      Have a blessed day.

      Jose D. Pinell.

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