“But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:3 (NASB).
I hope you’ve enjoyed our journey this Spring through Practices and Praise. They were all great reminders of ways we can refocus and serve our God. Meditation, fasting, worship, confession, service, submission each require hard work, but simplicity surprised me.
I just had the rare privilege to put Simplicity into practice when I was tested far beyond expectation.
My sister has always been the outdoorsy type. She jumps out of perfectly good airplanes and scuba dives, while I take business and relational risks at sea level. Joining her on a hike presented a great opportunity to practice simplicity.
1st simplicity challenge: pack everything you need for 4 days below the rim of the Grand Canyon in one awkwardly fitting pack that would soon become an extension of my being.
2nd simplicity challenge: Choose one book to read at camp. Does your nightstand look anything like mine? Piles of devotions so high, your Bible is not recognizable. I found it.
3rd simplicity challenge: Focus on your foot placement. One misstep could ruin the trip for everyone.
Focus grew more important as I fought overwhelming waves of fear as we traversed 3’ wide trails carved by cliff sides. Traversing rock formations in our way had me longing for the formerly terrorizing 3’ wide path. Blowing rain and lightening intensified the situation and my focus was refined to one thing, one gaze, on one person, Jesus Christ.
The setting sun and new waves of storms forced us to set up camp on a ledge miles from shelter, surrounded 330 degrees by 4000’ drop offs. We took shelter in a tent supported by a hiking pole now threatening to be a lightening rod. The storms blew fierce as my sister phoned in our coordinates in event of disaster.
This was not what I planned.
Is life surprising you with storms? Are waves of fear all consuming? Can you see your own knees shake as you tell your legs and feet to keep climbing?
What expert advice is helping you now, what resources bring you peace? In every storm, the purpose of the storm is to strip us down to simplicity of focus on the only one who saves. If the Word isn’t in you when lightening strikes, it’s too late to find it hidden in your backpack.
For 2 days, I recited every verse I could recall, every characteristic and name of God and every hymn from my childhood. I wished I knew more.
We must consume the Word of God before the winds come. We must hide it in our hearts.
This Summer, I hope you’ll join us as we hike through the book of Philippians and take on one simple challenge. How much of Philippians can you hide in your heart through focused study including effort on memorizing the scripture?
Will you and your friends take the challenge with us starting June 4th? Take a look at Laura’s post about how to prepare for the hike.
Pack your Bible and undivided attention. You will never be the same.