Chapter 4 - "the city of simpli-city"

We made our way across Michigan via Rt. 196 toward Chicago. Along the way, we talked about leaving the shores of normalcy and setting our sails toward abnormalcy (not a word, by the by). As the pickup truck carried us along, the vibrating hum of the new tires and the purr of a diesel at 65 mph almost put me into a trance. Time was flying by as we talked about the anticipation of our hearts and the reasons why breaking away from status quo feels so invigorating. As we hit the congestion of downtown Chicago, I was amazed at the glut of humanity crammed into such a small space. Millions and Billions of acres of wild country out there and people trade it for stand still traffic slogging through smog and smutty billboards.

And here’s the thing, I love the city. The hyperactivity and the convenience and the architecture and the cultural artistry have a gravitational pull on my heart, but lately, I’ve become bored with the fast paced, trendy pressure of our modern culture. Everything is rooted in the addictive drug of change…as a result, values like loyalty and rest and faithfulness are seen as old school dinosaurs. That’s why the older I get, the more I think that my favorite city is simpli“city”. A life unencumbered with distractions and diversions. A life filled with simple joys and simple things. A life that has been taught to take pleasure in things overlooked because of there smallness. It’s an acquired taste, you know. It’s the difference between cool-aide and aged wine.

So as we slowly made our way through the heart of Chicago, I couldn’t help but think that it was a picture of everything that was starting to gut my life of what really mattered. A visual of what I was hoping to leave behind for a few days. A visceral moment that juxtaposed the life of complexity and simplicity perfectly. And I was in the emotional space to take it in. To absorb it into the center of my being.

So what city are you living in lately? Simplicity or Hecticity (again, not a word, but I couldn’t find the one I was looking for). Do you ever wonder if God is calling you into the wilderness? A place to breathe. A place to evaluate. A place to wonder. A place of wonder. No matter where we live these days, it’s the equivalent of Chicago. Because the television and the internet bring the city into our homes even if we live in the country. The noise, the breakneck pace, the over-stimulation, the multi-tasking, the pressure to be hip, the taunting and tempting voice of this world telling you that you need to conform to fit the norm. I’m just wondering if there’s anyone else out there that is musing about this sort of thing?



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