"He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?"
If you look at the top of my blog page, there's a little Scripture reference on the bottom right of the header. Micah 6:8.
My favorite verse has been coming to my mind again. It usually pops up when I start to notice I'm over-complicating my life or my faith, and filling it with too many unimportant things. It's like God's little whisper to remind me that my goal for this year is simplicity.
I'm grateful for this little reminder. Amid the expectations I pile on myself, the obligations I accept from other people and the desires I have for more life and meaning, I can lose the knowledge that simplicity is best. More isn't better.
It's a process. Simple isn't a destination, it's a journey. Gradually peeling off layers of junk from my life is not easy, though. It's a cleansing of the mind, of the spirit and of the emotions. It's a refiner's fire. For me, "simplicity" has meant cutting off toxic relationships and cutting back on bad habits. It has meant throwing out trash and clutter, even some things I had deemed "important." It has meant cutting out the noise of the world and the voices in me and around me. It has meant losing some of the mental and physical weight that had held me back from seeing some of the true potential of my imperfect human body.
When I gradually start to fill up my life again (and the lives of my family) or get religious, I hear a little whisper, "Three things."
Walk humbly with God.
The rest of the stuff doesn't matter.
It's a big eye-opener when I remind myself. It's the measure for my behavior, my thoughts, my attitude, my spirituality.
I feel like true gratitude brings these three things to the forefront and forces us to see and appreciate what's important--all the little, quiet moments and opportunities we might miss in the noise and clutter of a busy life. It cuts through the messes and the obligations. It separates the meaningful from the irrelevant.
So while you're going about your life, stressing about the expectations put upon you or those you put upon yourself, or you find yourself over-complicating your faith, breathe and remember...three things. Do justly. Love mercy. Walk humbly.