It’s the best “city” to live in.
Unfortunately, the days are few and far between that I feel this sacred sense of simplicity hovering about me like a low-lying fog on a crisp spring morning. I typically feel rushed and scatterbrained. Hurried, harried, and harassed by an impending sense of doom or disappointment.
But this morning I’m sitting in the local coffee house with a hot Cup of Joe thinking about how much I love my life. I’m not caught up in the lingering residue of yesterday, nor am I eclipsed by the prospect of tomorrow’s deadlines. I’m sitting squarely in the moment, present and accounted for. This is rare, indeed.
The ambient music filling the room is some sort of orchestra piece, a symphonic mixture of the most rich and enriching sounds a heart could possibly know. I’m not a fan of all classical music, but whatever is playing right now is intoxicating.
The snow is lightly falling like cotton from the sky. It hasn’t yet turned brown with age, so everywhere you look all you see is purity and innocence. Even the ugly eyesores of the rural landscape are blanketed with the wintery garment of God. It speaks of the salvaging salvation of God covering the blight of our sick, sad and sorry lives with his only begotten Son. I feel covered today. Completely and Beautifully.
Last night our family decorated our Christmas tree and Heidi beautified our house with the trappings of Christmas. She is amazing. Boughs of holly and evergreen. Strings of lights and plastic diamond beads reflecting prism-like colors against the witnessing walls. Embroidered blankets intricately cross-stitched with snowflakes and candy canes and carolers. Christmas décor laced around the staircase banister, tenderly placed above the bay window, woven serpentine-like through the family pictures on the coffee table. The placement of candles throughout the house feels like you’re living in the 1700’s before the days of electricity.
This is the city we now live in…and for all its perks, it stinks.
Simplicity and Electricity don’t get along real well.
Electricity has brought us television and computers and phones and video games. Things that connect us for sure, but more often than not, they serve to disconnect us. You’ll be sitting with your family in the living room and 2 of them will be checking facebook on their smart phones, 3 of them will be on laptops wirelessly connected to the world, 1 will be on the phone texting someone (I just noticed texting still isn’t a word in my computer because it put a fat red line under it…thank you, Jesus), while others are watching television to pass the time. If you just sit there and look around you for a second, you will feel first-hand what the city of “Electri-city” inevitably produces.
But the city of “Simpli-city” offers less while giving you more. It forces you to create and conversate (not a word, I know. I care not…neither is the word “texting”). It forces you to eat together at a table and plant a garden in your backyard. In a world of simplicity you work in the day, play in the evening, and sleep in the night. You follow the seasonal rhythms of life and surrender yourselves to the created order of a day, a week, a month or a year. Electricity seems to allow you to stay awake when you should be asleep and sleep when you should be awake. This is why we live in a world of sleepwalking and daydreaming; we are far from home.
Simplicity is sitting by a fire with your kin. It is stringing popcorn together for a decoration all the while eating it and throwing it at each other. It is laughing at worn-out jokes you’ve all heard before, but graciously and gratefully relive in the retelling. It is listening to your offspring goofing around with each other on the couch making up silly voices that you would never utter in the presence of anyone other than your family. It is snuggling on the couch and tickling each other and kissing each other’s rosy cheeks. It is eating some of mom’s famous cheese soup that her mother fed her when they were decking the halls with boughs of holly themselves. Simplicity is needing nothing and having everything.
So as I sit smack dab in the middle of “Electricity”, I’m musing about and pining for the world of “Simplicity”.
I don’t think I’m alone.