Sometimes I wonder whether a lot of folks are totally clueless about simple living. Like it’s a new idea for time-strapped minds or an ideal that’s so small that it doesn’t get noticed among the furor of competing synapses. But then I think of a trademarked super-hero whose sensitivities about impending or occurring evil are so strong that his whole body actually tingles.
Here’s why I’m hopeful. I think that for the most part, you’re aware of your deepest feelings. Call it the mind of Christ, conscience, reciprocal altruism, or gemeinschaftsgefuehl—it turns out the same way. You know when things aren’t fair, aren’t right. You know when what you’re doing hurts other folks, when you’re faking it, when you’re about to give up on a futile way of living. When you’re called to transcend selfishness. In other words, I’m pretty sure that, when it comes to living simply, you have a “spidey sense.”
Just like the fictional crusader, though, you can’t necessarily turn off this gnawing feeling that something’s wrong with an overstuffed and over-rushed way of living. You can’t pretend that your lifestyle doesn’t impact the lives of others. You can’t choose to be unaware, and you certainly can’t ignore these down-deep feelings for the rest of your life. To lean on the metaphor, sooner or later you have to put on the superhero tights and do what you know is necessary.
Please accept my encouragement to take action on what you know to be true. Please see the invitations from people around you to reconsider how acquisitively or harriedly you want to live. Please do more than close this entry and go about the rest of your day as though you hadn’t thought about these things.
And please, don’t get caught in your own web.
This article is the May 18th entry from Bob Sitze’s new epub, Simple Enough: A Companion Along the Way.
In his newest work, simplicity blogger Bob Sitze offers readers a year’s worth of periodic observations into the universe of simple living. Sometimes whimsical, often challenging, and always encouraging, Simple Enough wanders through the landscape of contemporary society, helping readers make sense out of their earnest attempts to find joy in managing their lifestyles. Over 150 short and sturdy entries fill the book, casting the author’s insistent eye on parenting, consumerism, faith-based decision-making, technology, daily-life stewardship, and congregational life. A special bonus section helps church leaders approach annual fund-raising efforts in simple ways.
Copyright ©2013 by the Alban Institute. All rights reserved.
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It’s Not Too Late: A Field Guide to Hope
by Bob Sitze
A “field guide” is a small, pocketable book that accompanies you on an adventure or journey. It’s Not Too Late is a field guide to hope—sized so that you can carry it along with you on your daily journey of faith. The entries in this book will help you find hope, whether it’s right in front of you or it remains elusive despite your searchings.
Starting Simple: Conversations About the Way We Live
by Bob Sitze
In today’s complex and busy world, people yearn for simpler lives. Bob Sitze believes conversations change us as individuals and that most important social changes take place through conversation, so in Starting Simple he invites us into heart-to-heart conversations about simple living.
In Not Trying Too Hard, Bob Sitze offers a vision releasing congregational leaders from the growing burden of trying harder to invent and implement “better” worship, evangelism, stewardship, small groups, long-range planning, mission statements, and the like. Sitze advocates a “small-step approach” to change and provides the necessary tools to engage what is possible without trying too hard. He points readers toward the congregation of the future and assures them that they have the capacity to reimagine their own congregations.
Emerging discoveries in brain science are sparking new areas of research as cutting-edge educators and psychologists are asking, “What can we learn from brain science about how we function in the world?” Bob Sitze joins the conversation with a new question: What does the human brain have to do with the beliefs, practices, and structures of congregations? Weaving together clear, accessible explanations about the workings of the human brain, Sitze shows how a congregation’s identity and behaviors are shaped by the work of individual members’ brains as well as by the “collected brains” of the congregation.
Tired of fixing the same old problems that don’t stay fixed? Facing challenges so ambiguous and complex you don’t know where to begin? Ready to shed your “problem solver” role and step into a new style of leadership?
Leading Adaptive Change
Presenter: Susan Beaumont, Alban senior consultant and author
July 23-25, 2013, Simpsonwood Conference Center, (near) Atlanta, GA
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