The Simple Life
It was funny, last night my neighbor below was having a rocking good time. Ginger and I were laying on the couch guessing which songs he was playing! I believe the Cranberries came on at one point. I opened the front door and wow, you'd of thought we were having a house party! Lots of bass. I have my laptop set up in the living room so I just put on some music for us and we danced for a little bit, then retired to the other part of the apartment. We put on the House of Hair, which was playing Christmas Music, metal style. You have to laugh, Rob Halford doing We Three Kings is hilarious. But hey, welcome to our simple life. Ginger tolerates my music to a point, my indulgence is Saturday nights at 9 with Dee Snyder and the House of Hair (get in, sit down, shut up and hold on...this is the house of hair!). I don't listen to all three hours, just some music I can bang my head to a little bit and Ginger can get a good laugh. She thinks it's cute.
But that is what I want to talk about today, the simple life. Neither of us have a smartphone, we don't have cable, I don't do alot of surfing on the web, and we don't have a gaming system, though word is Santa may be bringing a Wii to us, which is acceptable because Ginger and I can play some G rated games together. And we love this simple life. You walk into our apartment and your transported back to a simple time. We don't have electronic pictures, we have pictures and picture frames up, we have our real tree with our decorations up, and our wonderful, oversized couch in which we can curl up next to each other on. We don't try to keep up with the Jones', we walk through the door and we are in our own little world apart from the chaos outside. The downside for the lack of latest technology in our house? None really. The world is living in such a fast pace environment where everything is about doing it faster and quicker. The problem is, relationships are quickly becoming digital, or people are checking out from others as they eat up their time on gadgets. Not that the gadgets are wrong. Email and texting allow me to talk to my parents alot more.
Not that I'm against cable, or gadgets, I'm not by any stretch. But when they increasingly take the time away from those things that are really important, namely God and my wife in my case, then the case must be made that you must decide what is really important. And maybe I have an advantage in that area, having had lost everything before God slowly building my life back up. When you lose everything you find what it is that is really important. The first thing God gave me back was my relationship with Him. Never know how important that is until you walk away from Him and try to live this life without Him. You try to fill a void that just isn't fillable without Him. The second thing He gave me back was my parents. Realize God, nor my parents walked away from me, I walked away from them. I had to learn, yes learn, to love people again. Not earn their love, but be willing to be loved, and love in the process, unconditionally. Then I began a process of learning how to serve God out of love and not duty. Still learning that process, but it is getting easier. God gave me things along the way, a car for $1.00, a stereo, little things to most, huge to me. My relationship with my brother came and He gave me friends and then my best friend, Ginger. All along the way He taught me about providing for me daily. Then a wonderful apartment that my lovely bride and I could live in, a better car, and a better job. How God outfitted our apartment was truly miraculous, a beautiful almost antique bed, a wedding gift couch from my parents, etc. All along the way, Ginger and I were thankful and thanked the Lord for what He provided. A big TV from a friend at CR, a stereo from her Dad. We could have been ungrateful, or wanted the latest technology, but we were thankful. God provided these things. And we learned not to fill our time with stuff, or things, but to spend time with each other and talk. We learned how to live in the apartment and do things separate (like me drawing and Ginger reading) but not checking out from each other. What I've learned in this process that it is relationships that are most important to me now. You see, things come and go. What is the adage, the Lord gives and takes away. And yet the apostle Paul said to be content in all things. Again, lest you think I'm anti technology, or against being rich, that is not the point I'm taking. All that is well and good as long as you keep it in perspective. Can you go to a TV for last comfort? Or a laptop? Maybe for temporary checking out, but when life is a struggle having relationships that can encourage you, strengthen you, and help you are important.
Our happiness is from God and is a direct result of spending time with God, whether alone or working in ministry together, and with each other. There is not a TV show, football show, or even event that is more important than my wife. We enjoy many of those things together, but if she needs me and there is a conflict, she wins every time, and that includes CR. I love CR, but as one of the summit leaders said, if CR goes away in my life I want my wife there with me. If I've sacrificed ministry for my wife, then the ministry goes away, then what do I have left? That is why the relationships you cultivate are so important in my eyes. And wouldn't you know it this last paragraph had Ginger and I talking about those things that are important to us this Christmas. God and family. I'm going to miss my parents but God had other plans this Christmas, it'll make our next reunion that much more special. So as you go through this week leading up to Christmas make sure to take time to reflect on what is most important in your life....