Saturday, November 21, 2009

Simplicity

“Tis a gift to be simple, tis a gift to be free…”


At my break last night I had another co-worker come to me and say, “Lisa, my hands hurt, could you give me a massage?” As I worked the knots out of her hand, another woman said “Lisa, do my hand too”…so after work, I sat in the cafeteria and massaged her arms and wrists and hands. I asked her if she could cut down on the overtime to lessen her pain. She told me her husband is not able to work right now, so she had to work the over time to make the house payments. I asked, “Is it a big house?” Her response was “Oh yes!” I said “well then, get a smaller house.” She looked at me with confusion, that I would even suggest that.

I work with a lot of immigrants, and I see how quickly they internalize the idea of the “American Dream”. As our fore-fathers longed for and created a great land of freedom with the vision that one could escape the oppression of kings and serfdom to have a life of freedom and a little land, worship God and live simply; with thankfulness to God for all he provides. But look how this has changed in America today. The definition of the “American Dream” means to make millions anyway you can, have an enviable house, drive a Lexus, have your kids wearing FUBU and Nike (or what ever the brand) and to not have those kids work…just let them receive what you give them. We are taught the greatness of having a super credit rating, that being in debt is a blessing, and we should work harder to have the best toys on the block.

I am surrounded by people who want the finer things in life…at the cost of their own health. They have made themselves slaves. If I ask any of my co-workers, “do you suffer from pain?” the answer will uniformly be “Yes”.

Now, understand that as I write this—even my arms are stiff, and the muscles are tight. But I know that by Monday my arms won’t hurt and I will be rested and ready for another week. I know that by the end of next week, my wrists will be sore…doing assembly line work is hard on the body; that simply is the nature of the job.

But when we make our lusts for “finer” things our goal in life, truly it will destroy us.

24"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. 25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. (Matthew 6:24-32)

1 comment:

Christina Langella said...

Amazing post Lisa. Thanks for helping to keep it all in right perspective.