So, another month of Simplify 7 draws to a close.
One of the things I am learning is that I can pretty much do anything for a month. Even something I don’t want to do. Actually, there’s plenty of proof that if someone wants to change something or create a new habit (stop smoking/drinking, take more exercise, whatever) then committing for a month is a good way to get started.
That being said, I am DEFINITELY looking forward to having a bath this week. Showers are all very well, but certainly don’t serve the same purpose as far as I am concerned. However, I think perhaps I have learned to value the privilege of regular bathing a great deal more – and to have some compassion for those who don’t share that privilege.
There are other things that I think will stay with me beyond that month of Simplify 7. There’s really no reason why I can’t continue to recycle as much as I have done, try to cut down on packaging, turn things off or down, walk when I can… In the end, they are all very simple steps which require very little additional effort and just a bit more thought about the choices I make. Unlike the 7 foods fast and the clothes fast, this month has been about learning to live with a little more respect for our planet and how the choices I make in some small way impact on the choices we are all going to be able to make in the future.
I’m never going to be an environmental campaigner – or a campaigner of any sort, probably. If that’s what God has in store for me, he hasn’t let me in on it so far! But if I want to bear witness to the fact that ‘the Earth is the Lord’s and everything in it’ (Psalm 24) then it is important to me to treat the Earth with respect.
So, what next?
I’ve been thinking (and praying) about month 4 throughout most of month 3. It’s been something of a distraction, if I’m honest – until I listened to what was (not) being said. My Simplify 7 journey is being guided by God. I had a blueprint in Jen Hatmaker’s book, but my path was never going to be the same as hers.
One of the things that I am learning, through trying to give the Holy Spirit more room to move in my life, is that things don’t always move at the pace or in the direction that I want them too. In general, they happen much more slowly. That’s quite hard for me. My working life is always busy and there is always a pressure on time. But I gradually became very aware that my next step is a little bit of time away from Simplify 7.
Not long: I already know that my next month is going to start on the last Sunday in November and will take me through to Christmas. I know it’s going to be different to anything I have done so far – but that’s all I know!
It’s frustrating, for someone like me who always wants to feel like they are in control. It’s a good reminder that I’m not! However, I am confident that all will be revealed – and as soon as I know what is coming next I will share it here. Thanks to all who have supported me on this journey so far – it means a lot.