Trying to maintain balance during this time of year may not be as hard as you think. In fact, if you are willing to do it, the fruit of your efforts could be experienced for generations!
The key to balance during the Advent and Christmas season is simplicity.
The idea of living simply has definitely gained in popularity in recent years. In fact, simplicity has become a well-used “buzz word” in many circles. Everywhere I turn, I hear talk of some kind of reducing, or down-sizing, in an effort to simplify. I have to admit the thought of “selling it all”, to live a simpler life has crossed my mind more than once! What about you? Have you yearned for a “simpler life”, or wondered how to get those “simple times” back?
Sometimes it seems, that the challenges of living in this current, complicated culture, contradict that trendy idea of “the simple life”. As we struggle to maintain balance, it’s difficult to see the possibility of any kind of simple. Trend or not, many of us seriously struggle with simplicity. Although the idea is attractive, we barely manage to juggle the demands of our everyday lives. How do you live simplicity amid a society that appears to measure “worth”, with what we do and what we produce?
Despite the trendy “less is more” mantra, we continue to be less of human beings, and more of “human doers”. If we are not doing or producing, somehow we feel deficient. Unfortunately, we often equate our self-worth with how many activities little Johnny and Suzy are participating in, or how productive we are at work. It seems our self-esteem is wrapped up in how busy we are and how much we get done or produce. I ask again, how can we live simple lives in a culture that measures success by how busy we are?
If simplicity is the key to living a balanced Advent and Christmastide, what do we have to do to be simple? The essence of simplicity eludes us because we have lost sight of its truest meaning.
The essence of simplicity is not found in being organized, or downsizing, or cutting back. It isn’t even found in the well-meaning attitude of living with less or reducing our carbon footprint. The essence of simplicity is found in relationships.
It makes sense, if you think about it. We were created for relationship, beginning with our relationship with God. So it stands to reason that, when we focus on nurturing, and growing great relationships, the closer we are to our purpose, and our world feels balanced and we feel at peace.
Once upon a time, when all we had was our relationships, life was simpler and we enjoyed a natural balance.
Now that the world has exploded with possibilities for going, doing, having, and consuming, we have lost our relationship focus. Having lost that focus, we struggle with simplicity and therefore, we struggle with balance. Guess what?We’ll continue to struggle as long as we continue to put worldly possibilities before the nurturing of healthy relationships.
It’s amazing; when we focus on cultivating healthy relationships, beginning with God, everything else in our life seems to find its natural place. Because of this natural “settling”, we finally enjoy personal peace and satisfaction. This beautiful new attitude of “people first” will truly inspire future generations.
Cultivating an attitude of simplicity, through building quality, loving relationships, has the potential to change yours and your family’s future. By putting people first, we have the opportunity to leave a legacy of love, and self-worth that no worldly possibility can replace.
The balance we are searching for is found in simplicity. Simplicity is living a life focused on our relationships, beginning with our relationship with God. There is no better time to nurture healthy relationships than Advent and Christmastime! If balance is what you are looking for during this holy season, focus on your relationships first!