Wednesday, July 06, 2005I left work after lunch today, sick with something. I don't know what. I'm pretty sure I just ate something that didn't sit well with me. I came home and was in bed before two p.m. I didn't wake up until five-thirty, and if I were to crawl back into bed, I imagine that I would sleep until morning. Sometimes our bodies just say "Enough!" and slow down. It feels good to rest, to find comfort on a warm bed and sleep away a tired body. It's a simple thing, really, but a necessary one.
Simplicity reverberates with me lately. Reading Bonhoeffer my mind understands the idea of the simple life, a detachment from the cares of the world rooted in the willingness to forsake all and follow Christ. My mind grasps it but what of my heart? I have a nice apartment. I have a closet full of clothes and movies and records. Do I need these things? Have I placed more importance on such trivial things than is necessary?
It would be easy to think that this desire for seperation is something passing. That, unlike Hopkins' nun, it is not a permanent thing, only a phase of life that will be remembered with sighs and chuckles in a decade. I pray it is not so. The joy of walking away is too strong, too palpable to resist. I truly want simplicity in my life. I don't want that house in the suburbs. I don't want the BMW anymore. I really don't even care about the clothes or the jetset and the runways. I don't stand in criticism of those who have those things. I just want a life without attachment to the things that call me away from the Cross, that distract me from the call of One who knows better than I what is needed in my life. If I were only supplied with a family, a garden and a few close friends, that should be enough. The rest is hassle, unneeded and unwanted. There is noise and muddled confusion in the unncessary things. Let me shake it off and strive for something higher.
But it seems so foreign. A year or two ago, even as recent as six months, I wanted all those things I say I do not care about. Is this the work of God? Can I truly live this way, no longer consumed with petty desires of status, recognition and vanity? My own faith is so reluctant to suggest this is more than a phase but I hear the Call of something better. I can rest in that. Like Bono once sang, "I will follow." Yes, I surely will.