Posts Tagged ‘simple living’

“Look at you,” I said, “Joseph, the carpenter.”

“Do you know why I do this?” he asked me looking up from his logs and sticks.

“No, why?” I asked. As I was thinking of why someone might do this, in that moment I was surprised by his answer.

“I do this for God,” he said, with a little water in his eyes. “He gave me back my life, and so I do this is for him.”

His answer wasn’t cliched, nor was it said for any effect. It was one of those moments when the sincerity of the person, their honest core breaks through on you as a touching, moving, authentic force.

He looked down at the manger he was building for the Christmas Eve service at the church.

I felt suddenly as if in the presence of a sage.

“People say to me, ‘You did this and you did that'” he said, “but that’s not why I do this. It gives me a really simple, good feeling when I am here, working alone, doing this for God.

Colossians 3:23 came to mind, “Whatever your task, work heartily, as serving the Lord and not men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward; you are serving the Lord Christ.”

In that moment I felt an odd but familiar feeling — realigned, brought back to focus, corrected.

Drive from work to the gym.

Eight stop lights. Ten thoughts about work. Think about six people. One thought about wife. Bad ratio.

Run on the elliptical. Lift weights. One thousand five-hundred and fifty-one different movements.

Wash hands. Diseases on my mind. New gym; probably crawling with bacteria.

Stop and talk to the gym owner. He is going through third divorce. Sucks, for him. I live in a Brueghel — sweaty, pulsing, messy, high-density.

Drive home. One near miss. Eleven traffic lights. One incident. No hand gestures. Eleven emotions during whole drive.

Accelerate hard with the turbo-charged engine twice. Rocket forward. Smile twice. One phone call on car phone to wife. She’s in traffic. Our cars talk, then we talk.

Pull in garage. Car off. Break on. One car door. One backpack. One phone. One garage door button.

Greet my daughter and both cats. Stash backpack.

Make dinner. A hundred and seventy-two different steps.

Feed the cats in the middle of the process. Six motions.

Answer two texts. One from work.

Eat exhausted, with daughter, wondering if the homemade spaghetti is worth it. One hundred ten motions not counting chewing.

It wasn’t, worth it. Daughter didn’t like it, but it was good the next day as leftovers.

Do the dishes. Fifty four disparate movements.

Help my daughter change a setting her iPad. Stress! I didn’t want to.

Think about a bill I need to pay online. Decide to pay it in the morning.

Think about work. Eight thoughts in a row. Three were repeats.

Wife arrives home. Hug. Get her food. She likes the spaghetti. Ask about her day. Answer a text. Try to stop thinking about work.

Get a work related call. Ignore it.

Sit on the couch — exhausted. Turn on TV.

Run through the DVR list while scanning the news on my iPhone while answering a text.

Watch one show.

Go to my room. Think about life as a crush of details and problems. It’s clutter.


Read my Bible.



Got it!

Life is simple.

There is the clutter, laden with detail, fraught with emotion, cargoed with movement, and then there is one simple thing.

I have only one thing to do.

I have just one choice to make.

One thought.

One movement.

One goal.


Simply love. Love them; love it.


I go to sleep.

I’m okay.