Simplicity is choosing to leverage time, money, talents and
possessions toward what matters most. – Mark Scandrette
I left our gathering last night with an overwhelming sense that God holds everything together and I don’t have to. I’m not totally sure why; that wasn’t necessarily what the night was about. But after listening to Mark Scandrette’s story and teaching about simplicity, my vision of the kingdom of God grew deeper, broader, bigger, and more compelling. I guess it comes down to the fact that I was reminded that my purpose in life isn’t to consume and have what Mark would call “consumptive experiences.” Of course, I wouldn’t have described consumption as my purpose if you asked me, but am I alone in having been (mis)led into thinking and living as if it were? As Mark walked us through the Scriptures and Jesus’ words to his disciples, I found myself thinking, “Oh yeah. That’s right. He provides. He reigns. There is something other than consumption.”
A few things that stood out in Mark’s teaching:
- The Scriptures he mentioned, which I will be living in this week.
- Matthew 6:25-34
- Matthew 13:18-23
- Luke 12:13-21
- Acts 2:42-47
- If we don’t arrest and interrogate our choices, consumption will end up driving them.
- Jesus is inviting us into a life that is freer and lighter than any life we could or would create for ourselves.
- Neither shame nor “should” is a healthy or helpful motivator.
- His four questions: (1) What is the ultimate purpose of human existence? (2) Who am I (and what’s my 5-word purpose statement)? (3) What’s right in front of me? (4) What will matter in the end?
- The short self-assessment Mark handed out was eye-opening and I am really looking forward to spending some time with that this week as well.
- And, because I love “dares,” Mark’s three statements that he dared us each to believe:
- You were made for a deeper purpose.
- You have enough to be fully alive and to thrive.
- You can make intentional choices to use what you have to do good.
Our Kingdom Practice this week is to Name What Matters Most to You and we are following the steps set out in this Scandrette The Practice Hand Out on pages 4-8. We would love for you to join us. Who knows what God might do? Plus, I think I’ll practice Lectio Divina with the Scriptures I listed above too because I could sense God whispering to me through them last night. Could you? Join me?
Free, Mark Scandrette (For the next seven weeks, we will use Mark’s book to guide us in our practices)
Mark’s website has lots of resources relating to his teaching, so please check that out.
This is going to challenge us! Can’t wait!
May the peace and grace of our Lord Jesus be with you today,