Have you ever wondered why every Thomas Kinkade painting of an isolated mountain cabin or thatched-roof cottage draws us in and causes us to stop and stare? Without ever getting a glimpse of the inside of those humble dwellings, we just know we would love to sit by the fire that is producing the stream of smoke rising from that chimney. It certainly looks like a simple life, and instinctively we know that simple equals free. For just a moment, we breathe a little easier.
While most of us are not ready to live in a single room furnished only with a table, chair, and bed, we readily admit that almost every area of our lives could use some de-cluttering. Our homes are crowded with “stuff” we will never use again, books and magazines we will never read again, and clothes we will never wear again. Our calendars are crammed full of activities and commitments we’re not even sure we enjoy. Our relationships are filled with unresolved feelings, unexpressed love, and unconfessed sins. Our minds are so focused on yesterday (which cannot be changed) or tomorrow (which is not promised) that we are missing out on the today that God has placed in our hands. With all this clutter there seems to be no time or space for ourselves, our families, or even God.
Pastor and author A. W. Tozer prayed, “Father, I want to know you, but my cowardly heart fears to give up its toys…I come trembling, but I do come. Please root from my heart all those things which I have cherished so long…so that You may enter and dwell there without a rival.” The beautiful discipline of Simplicity is the key to spiritual freedom. Less clutter means a simple life. A simple life is a free life. A free life is a breathe-easier life. It’s also a Jesus kind of life.
This week’s devotional is provided by Vicki Vaughn who committed her life to Christ as a nine-year-old child. She is a graduate of the University of Corpus Christi with a Bachelor’s Degree in English, of Fuller Theological Seminary with a Master’s Degree in Theology, and of Truett Theological Seminary with a Doctor of Ministry degree. She is the mother of Dr. Melody Bynum Pickle and Austin Bynum, both of whom are graduates of Howard Payne University. She is the grandmother of one grandson, Asa (8 years old), and two granddaughters, Megan and Skylar Rae (11-year-old twins). Vicki has been in vocational Christian service for the past forty-six years. She has partnered in ministry with Dr. Richard Jackson, as his research/administration/counseling assistant at North Phoenix Baptist Church in Phoenix, Arizona, and as the Executive Director of the Richard Jackson Center for Evangelism and Encouragement, located in Brownwood. Also, Vicki has served as the Ministry Guidance Director at Howard Payne University where she teaches Theology of Worship, Spiritual Formation, Evangelism, Introduction to the Ministry, Supervised Ministry, and Introduction to the New Testament. Her responsibilities at HPU also include supervising internships of students who are pursuing their Master’s degree.