Vol 11, Num 2 :: 2012.01.20 — 2012.02.02
My three favorite shows as a teenager were The Andy Griffith Show, The Waltons and Little House On The Prairie. Simplicity was their calling card.
Early frontier life and the Great Depression forced simple living on the Waltons and Ingalls families. Andy, however, chose simplicity. Sitting with one of his classmates at their high school reunion, he confessed his preference to be a big fish in a small pond. And he proved it by turning down employment opportunities in larger towns, by foregoing the chance to join a big city club and by enduring scorn from those who left and became famous.
After encountering one who promised to follow him regardless of where he went, Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20). And when he stumbled upon a rich man who claimed perfect obedience to all commands, he said, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have…then come, follow me” (Luke 18:22).
Though Jesus asked his twelve disciples and a handful of others to leave everything to follow him, it isn’t a requirement for everyone. His followers include wealthy, poor and middle class, and there are challenges for each. The wealthy are tempted to trust in what they’ve amassed, the poor to blame God for their lack, and the middle class to think they can handle life without God’s assistance.
But simplicity of the soul is more crucial than simplicity in lifestyle. The absence of a place to lay his head illustrates Jesus’ total dependence on his Father for his needs. He didn’t fret over comfortable beds with soft linens or a mansion with plush possessions to put it in. Whatever God provided was enough. Nor was a diet of delicacies necessary for his meals. His Father provided physical sustenance, and his nourishment came by doing God’s will.
It’s taken awhile, but I’ve learned not to worry about food, clothing or a place to stay. God promises all to his children in the amount and form he deems best. And what he gives will always be sufficient, as God teaches us to live with as little as it takes to trust him completely.