Silence Part 10: Wendy Bray considers simplicity as a discipline
'This, then, is how you should pray: "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread."' Matthew 6
If you can find time, read the whole Sermon on the Mount, beginning in Matthew 5. It gives this familiar passage context and helps us to understand Jesus' teaching about a lifestyle with love, prayer, trust and simplic- ity at its centre.
The more time we choose to spend in silence and solitude, the more we find we are attracted to simplicity. There is a link between the three. In silence and solitude we become aware of what really matters. We are able to hear and see more clearly and to recognise the need to shed the superficialities of life that contemporary society suggests we can't live without. We discover, in fact, that the less we need, the richer we are.
What if we made today's passage central to our daily lives? What difference would it make if we lived the way we pray in the Lord's Prayer and in accordance with Jesus' words about worry and the accumulation of 'stuff'? One day I tried to do that. now, you have to understand that I am soon distracted by the thought of coffee, food, a chat or a new book, so 'tried' is the operative word! I prayed that the themes of this passage would inform my priorities and my thinking as I spent time in silence and solitude and, on this occasion, fasting. I returned to the passage again and again through the day. It informed my reflection on my own life and on the struggles of the people for whom I was praying. It focused my thinking and my doing in simple ways that, rather than reducing my worldview, enriched it, giving prominence to what really matters: love, prayer, forgiveness, trust and life lived from the perspective of heaven.
These words are essentially about living simply. Solitude and silence may be a place to start.
Taken from Day by Day with God, published by Bible Reading Fellowship.
March 16th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Ian Matthews