A friend of mine challenged me today with a quote. Ironically it was from his blog where he was “signing off” for a while to actually put it into practice – rather than spending his time in a virtual world.
Well, since I process best via writing . . . here is the quote:
More and more, the desire grows in me simply to walk around, greet people, enter their homes, sit on their doorsteps, play ball, throw water, and be known as someone who wants to live with them. It is a privilege to have the time to practice this simple ministry of presence. Still, it is not as simple as it seems. My own desire to be useful, to do something significant, or to be part of some impressive project is so strong that soon my time is taken up by meetings, conferences, study groups, and workshops that prevent me from walking the streets. It is difficult not to have plans, not to organize people around an urgent cause, and not to feel that you are working directly for social progress. But I wonder more and more if the first thing shouldn’t be to know people by name, to eat and drink with them, to listen to their stories and tell your own, and to let them know with words, handshakes, and hugs that you do not simply like them, but truly love them.
– Henri Nouwen
I find myself there. I tend to be a rally-er (is that a word?) and want to do something significant. Yet, I can’t remember names of people who live across the street.
And I’m realizing that simplifying my life is not necessarily about making major life changes – rather, it’s in making small, daily, intentional changes. It’s about sitting on the front porch rather than in front of the TV.
I could move to Mayberry and still live a frantic life. My surroundings should not dictate whether or not I can live simply. My commute to and from work shouldn’t even dictate that. Frankly, I’m tired of blaming my lifestyle on outside things. I’m to blame. And I can make some changes.
It will be a challenge. But my girls and the hubs deserve a mom/wife who is present. As do others in my life. You know, what’s their names.
I’m going to be processing this a lot, I hope.