I recently ordered a book called Focus in the Whirlwind by Jean Fleming. (free - thank you swagbucks!) I often feel overwhelmed by all that life seems to ask of me: be a good wife, be a good mom, eat healthy (that always seems to take longer doesn't it?), exercise, spend time with God every day, clean the house, walk the dog, work, be a good friend, and on and on it goes. So, saying that I often feel at the vortex of a whirlwind seemed an understatement.
It was interesting, because I've been reading on several blogs and in books about simplifying life. That sounds so appealing to me - a simple life, pared down to the essentials. However, as I was reading this book, Fleming challenged my thinking on the simple life. She asked a very disturbing question, "The question, 'What do I mean by simple?' uncovered a disturbing possibility. As I struggled to define simple, I realized that perhaps my desire was to eliminate the hassle, to control life, to make it more manageable. Having a blazing streak of the escapist in me, was I trying to redefine life minus the stresses and pressures?"
I, like Mrs. Fleming, also have a rather wide streak of escapist in me, too. I want a life without hassles, a life where I feel in control, but if you read in the New Testament for any length of time, it becomes clear that a life of no hassles is not promised to any believer. Quite the opposite in fact.
She then added another sentence that sort of rocked my world. "The question is not, How can I do more? but, Am I doing the right thing?" Whoa! It seems every organizational type book or article is about how to get more done in less time. No wonder everyone feels stressed in this pressure cooker of expectations. I know I struggle with the feeling of never getting enough done, and not getting it done fast enough.
Finally, Fleming gave a better way to go about this quest for simplicity - because I think we all wish for simplicity, but trying to find it in a new organizational system isn't the answer. "The simplicity man seeks is not one of organization and management, but of relationship... To add Christ to our already busy life is to complicate living; to allow Christ to absorb all the elements of our life is to simplify it."
In other words, it's not simplicity we need but focus. Who or what am I focused on? The answer should be Christ. When we make our life an offering to an audience of one - God - then our lives get infinitely simpler. It's focus even in a whirlwind.
I'll leave you with one last quote from this chapter of the book. "Neither the approval nor the disapproval of people is any sure indicator of the validity of our work; our faithfulness and obedience to God stand as the true test."
Am I passing this test? Are you?
~ Blessings, Bronte