The journey to simplicity

The other day I was listening to a Christian radio program on the way to the gym. Each day they ask a question for their listeners to respond to, either via phone or their Facebook page, and the topic that day was: “What do you look forward to?”

The answers that listeners were sending in were simple, yet refreshing. For example, one woman said she looked forward to having a cup of tea at night once her children were in bed.

It got me thinking about the simple things in life. Essentially, that’s what we all generally look forward to—the little things. A hug after a long day. A cup of something hot in the morning. The sun shining again after a rainy patch, enabling us to finally hang our laundry. A comfortable bed to slide into at night. A refreshing shower. A freshly mowed lawn. A meal out.

I like to see these small things as being as much a part of God’s love for me as the bigger gifts He sometimes sends my way. As Robert Louis Stevenson put it: “The best things in life are nearest: breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life’s plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life.”

Sure, sometimes we look forward to big and exciting things, like an upcoming vacation. But more often than not, it’s the simple day-to-day things that bring us joy and put a smile on our face. I’m reminding myself that I need to think more about those things, appreciate them more, as they get so easily lost amidst the craziness of life. It’s not a new realization by any means. It’s just one of those principles of life and happiness that easily fade out of focus when so many bigger and more stressful things are obstructing my view or weighing me down.

I decided to start small. I took that woman’s advice on the radio. I set aside a few minutes to relax with a cup of tea that night after the kids were in bed, and I enjoyed every sip!

I’m on a journey to find simplicity in my spiritual walk as well. The simple things in life make me happy. Perhaps my simple things will make God happy too?