For a long while now I have been seeking a simpler more streamlined life. Not just in work practices, but day to day living and breathing.
I realised a long time go that the burdens we often bear are of our own making. We have accepted a measure of life that is full of vain ambition, comparing ourselves with others.
The stress that results from the expectations we place on ourselves and others; unrealistic or projected goals and ambitions that are not rooted in our true calling; chasing the wind as we keep up with the legendary Jones, who in turn are chasing someone else’s pursuit of greatness – all of these add a burden of impossibility to our daily plate, and we are left with little energy for what is of real value.
And in all of our running after and getting what do we end up with? A life crowded with stuff and stress. A vain chasing of shadows, always begging for more of our time, attention, energy and emotion.
A More Loving Way to Live
All the while there is a simpler, more loving way to live.
It requires courage to let go. Courage to eliminate. Courage to realise that you do not have to live the same way as others to be significant.
Jesus was unmoved by the expectation that others placed upon Him. When the crowds would make him King, he knew that he first must be the servant. He was not pressured to chase someone else’s dream or desire – he followed His own pathway as directed by the Father.
Papa has a blueprint for my steps too. And yours.
Ephesians 2:10, one of the greatest verses in all of Scripture, states that we are his workmanship, created in Christ for special works uniquely our own:
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10
The word used for workmanship here is an interesting one. One translation renders it, “masterpiece”. You are God’s masterpiece!
The Greek word is actually poiema.
You are God’s poetry.
The power of poetry is often found in simplicity. No unnecessary words are used in powerful lyrics or a great poem. The meaning and significance of every letter and pronouncement is carefully measured, and every word is pregnant with depth and meaning.
Often our lives are lived with so much filler that the real essence is lost. Instead of a streamlined expression of holiness and purpose, our days look more like reality Tv.
When I try to write poetry I slice away all that is not significant. Everything that detracts from the purpose of the poem must be removed, so the impact of the writing hits its mark as effectively as possible.
I have found in all my searching that the poetry of life is much the same.
When I loose myself from the burdens that detract from what’s of real value and worthy of my time and attention, the expressions of my heart – my life lived in love for others, myself, and God – become ever more clear.
I don’t worry what others will think and say, because they are not the Poet. My Papa in Heaven is.
You are His handwriting on history’s page.
The works He has prepared for you walk in will not be a burden to you. They will not overwhelm or stress you out. They will not give you ulcers or leave you destitute.
That’s why they are described as good works. And as we see in Genesis, when Papa looks on the good works He has created, He smiles and proudly savours each one.
Look for where Papa’s smile is apparent in your activities. Discern where His hand of grace, the gentle fingerprints of Deity, reside in your day to day.
Then look for ways to remove distractions and clutter, inwardly and outwardly; those things that pull you away from the smile of Heaven and the holy hand at work in your life. As you do so, your view will become clear and your ear ever more attentive to the still small voice on the inside, directing your steps to God’s best for your life.
May the poetry of Papa’s heart be personified in you today.