Simple living is about slowing down enough to tend to and focus on our being, not just relishing in our doing. We are more than our checklist. We can be more than the hurried Martha (see Luke 10:38-42)…we can be Mary, sitting and soaking up goodness. If you’re not familiar with that story, it’s one I’ve thought of many times recently. Martha was upset because Mary sat at Jesus’ feet while she was hurried fixing up the house and doing preparations for Jesus. Jesus said that Mary was brave to focus on what was most important. So, it’s not that Martha’s preparation was bad, but that preparation took her from what was most important.
On this same note, I was struck by a piece I used in my centering prayer time. See below:
I sat really pondering how I can be rooted in love. I was so struck by those words in particular, mainly because of the name behind all the work I am doing is “Rooted to Fly.” I thought, well, what’s the last time I took the time to see what I was rooted in, and when’s the last time I asked those around me what they are rooted in? I see being rooted in something as state and trait. Meaning, we can really be that thing we are rooted in…it doesn’t go away. But, I also see it as “state,” which would then imply that we need to continually fill up with that thing. We need to revisit it, weekly…even daily.
So let’s move forward with some questions on this topic…
1) What are you rooted in?
For me, I am sticking to the scripture. I am rooted in love. That covers so much. Love is patient, kind, does not envy, is not boastful, is not proud. It’s not self-seeking, does not dishonor others, is not easily angered, and keeps no records of wrongs. It rejoices in truth, protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres. Yes, I stole that from somewhere :) So, what do you want to be rooted in? When we allow something to fill our being, we become more of that as in soaks in.
2) How will you continue to replenish yourself? That is, how will you continue to revisit that thing you want to be filled with?
When I think about these questions, I was thinking about a plant. Certain elements in the soil never change, so, the plant is always rooted in that type of soil, receiving the goodness. For me, I am always rooted in love and get the benefits of being rooted in love. Yet, at the same time there might be time when the soil is a bit more dry. Same with our lives, right? They can get a little bit dry... we might be a bit famished. Yet, even though the plant waits for the water to return, it can still continue to return to the soil to get what it can- any needed nutrients to continue on. Same with us! We need to keep revisiting the soil. We need to be intentional.
In my attempt to allow love to take over my life I will take time to slow down. I will go on walks, hikes, journal, and partake in centering prayer. Those are the activities that really help me soak up goodness. What will you do?
3) What does being rooted in your particular area of choice look like in your life?
Play it out. As you allow the rooted area to take over, what will your life look like? Will you have more of certain things and less of other things? When I thought about this, I was really thinking about the areas that would diminish. Good can really push out the bad. It doesn’t have to be forceful, it might even be more of a dissolving type of action. When good takes over, the struggle areas no longer have us much space to reside. When I soak up love, I imagine I will be able to release judgement, criticism, contempt, harsh words, and impatience. I was really thinking about my marriage relationship, and John Gottman’s Four Horseman came to mind: defensiveness, contempt, criticism, stonewalling. I will do another post on those soon, because I believe one of the best elements of simple living is having more time to focus and build up important relationship in our lives! So, back to the question at hand…what does the area you want to be more rooted in look like in your life? What will increase and what will decrease?
My hope is that as you focus on your being, all things that you do will take on more meaning and purpose. I had that realization this morning as I pondered this topic. I originally thought about how I can continue to live with more passion, but as I was struck by this idea of taking a timeout to think about what I’m soaking in, then passion will be a product of my being. So, if I’m rooted in love, all of life will look brighter. When we think about our being, our actions are more in line with the core of who we are and that awareness can bring about such fruit in our lives. The goal of thinking about our being is not to be self-absorbed, but to see how it can then impact our daily lives. Our relationships become stronger and we help make the community around us a better place! Happy rooting, everyone!