I used to have a LiveJournal account. Over a decade ago. I refuse to feel old over that.
I finally deleted it last week, but before I did, I found myself skimming over my old posts. There weren’t a whole lot; most of them were just short stories and poems that I had found and shared. But there was one post that stood out from the rest, one of the last I wrote. It was quite interesting to revisit. Clearly, simplicity is not a new interest for me! In fact, the name of my Livejournal was Ordinary Gold, which was a modification of a previous blog named Aureate Simplicity. Given the subject matter, I thought I’d share (most of) it here. And then I’ll share some additional thoughts afterward.
Where Did the Simplicity Go?
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
A warm welcome to all my visitors today.
I have been doing some reading, thinking, and, yes, some writing, as you have probably already noticed. […]
My life is not as simple as I would like it to be. A simple life is best for so many reasons, the most important of which is to develop a closer relationship with God. The more activities and distractions we have packed into our lives, the harder it is to develop and maintain a close connection with God, and to hear the Holy Spirit’s still, small voice.
I read few blog posts, mostly focused on the Sabbath, on a blog I recently discovered called Seedlings in Stone. Wonderfully inspirational—I highly recommend you visit! I also watched a sermon called “God’s Not a Beggar? Why Your Ministry Must Become More Pathetic Before It Can Be Less Pathetic”. It is a really powerful message and was a real “light bulb moment” for me. In addition to these two things, early last week I read a small book entitled A Life of Simplicity by Jim Hohnberger, which begins with a slightly different version of a story I once posted here called The Scheme.
These three things have combined to speak to my heart very clearly about where I’ve gone wrong in my walk with Christ. The road to fixing this is not short, and it’s not easy. It will require a lot of discipline and effort. It will require investing time and energy into my most important relationship, and will require drawing away from many activities online that I enjoy, and that, in and of themselves, aren’t even bad. Sometimes, even good things can be bad for you if you do them too much.
I want to do what Jim said in his book: abandon the good, and even the better, so that I can have the best. I want to have the life that Christ offered, to the full! Quite simply, I want a life that has depth and meaning, with fulfilling relationships with those around me.
I am not going to abandon blogging, understand. In fact, I am planning on soon starting a new blog, Eye of Faith. How soon, I’m not sure (I’d like to say “tomorrow,” but…). We’ll see.
But in general I need to significantly reduce my time online, and increase my time in the Word. Furthermore, I need to properly schedule my time, especially on my days off (of which there are many), in my effort to simplify my life. I need to clean out the clutter, both physical (got lots of that) and spiritual (might be even more of that than physical). And… I need to take care of my health, again both physical and spiritual. Seriously. I know the scheduling will help with that, though. Also, the idea of a “technology Sabbath” sounds great. I think I should indeed not use the computer, at all, on the Sabbath. If I want to talk to my Mom or something, I can use my phone (yes, I know, not a complete technology Sabbath, but, you know, I like to talk to her about spiritual things).
These are all changes that are difficult for me. After all, I am, in essence, an Internet addict. I need my daily “fix” which is typically a very long-lasting fix. I mean, at least smokers have a cigarette or two and then go back to work. Not I… I just keep at it for hours and hours. It’s definitely time to make some much-needed changes to my lifestyle.
Pray for me! I’ll need it!
Now, Over a Decade Later…
This is the reason why people journal. It allows you to see more clearly where you have been in the past and compare it to where you are now. I remember this time in my life. I made a real effort after this to take my faith seriously. Unfortunately, I failed to understand all that was between me and my Lord. The effort failed and I backslid. I was worse off after than I was when I wrote the above post.
The moral of the story is simple: when you make the decision to follow Jesus, you must go all the way from the beginning. You need to lay everything down on the altar. If you withhold any part of yourself, the devil will dig his claws into it. He will so corrupt that one corner of your heart that the stench will drive the Holy Spirit away. You’ll be worse than ever!
When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.Matthew 12:43-45
Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.
Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.
Be sure to learn from my mistake. Give your whole heart to the Lord from the start! And when you give up the things of the world, be sure to replace them with things of which God approves. You don’t want your life to mirror the Scripture above!
Regarding the material I mentioned in my old post, I just want to note that Seedlings in Stone, while still in existence, is no longer updated. The sermon I watched also seems not to be available anymore. Too bad, because I kind of wanted to watch it again! Also, that blog I mentioned starting, Eye of Faith, no longer exists. I did a poor job of keeping up with it and let my registration of the domain name run out. Ah well. I like this blog better, anyway. 😊