Living Simply

Sometimes I catch myself staring at the starry sky on my way from the car to the house, and I think "When was the last time I stopped to take in the wonders of nature?"

Living in the city and working in a windowless office, staring at a computer screen for many of my days, I find myself having these moments more and more often.

A sad revelation for someone who works in the environmental field.

In hopes of altering this, I am resolving to live more simply.  While this has been a goal for quite some time, living up to it can be challenging.  I still buy way too many used books, but I feel that I have taken strides to cut down on material items.  It is the more internal side of simple living that I am challenged by: remembering to be intentional with my time and focus. 

This morning I read a definition of voluntary simplicity as "a manner of living that is outwardly more simple and inwardly more rich."  This came from an essay by Duane Elgin in the Northwest Earth Institute's discussion course on "Voluntary Simplicity."  This essay struck a chord in me.  And though it is technically a little late for new year's resolutions, I thought that I'd do ahead and make one – to live more simply.

For me, this might mean creating more intentional time to reflect in God's creation (even if that part of creation is a patch of grass in my back yard), focusing on making healthy meals, and being more intentional with my time.  What would living more simply mean to you?

For more reading on living simply, try Simpler Living, Compassionate Life: a Christian Perspective, edited by Michael Schut, a colleague who works for Environmental Ministries at the Episcopal Church.  The book offers interesting perspectives on how living simply can be an act of faith.  The book also features a study guide for small groups.

For ideas on "Just Living" - answering God's call to do justice and living simply so that others may simply live – visit the PC(USA) Enough for Everyone website.


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