There is a big difference between having many choices and making a choice. Making a choice—declaring what is essential—creates a framework for a life that eliminates many choices but gives meaning to the things that remain. (Sue Bender, excerpted from her book Plain and Simple, which describes her sojourn with the Amish)
In this society we’re taught to value having many choices. Rapid transport allows us to travel anywhere in a matter of days or hours. Electronic devices allow us to connect with anyone, anywhere, anytime. Malls are packed with differently branded things designed to make us feel that we are expressing our individuality in buying them. It’s easy to forget that mobility often hinders us from getting to know our own home places, that communications technology keeps us too distracted to connect with our relatives and neighbors, that many of the products are shoddy and most are unnecessary and buying them marks us as consumers, not individuals. It’s also easy to forget that this consumer choice is based on a vast, vulnerable, and unsustainable system that may not last much longer.
As Christian preppers, we step back from these empty choices and choose to focus on the essentials of physical and spiritual life. This choice brings many rewards—competence, satisfying work, real and close connections with others who have slowed down enough to really be present, understanding of ourselves and the way in which God calls us. Sometimes I am vividly aware of these rewards. Sometimes I get stuck craving the comfort of fitting in with the society around me, or wishing for glittering distractions that would allow me to forget failure, fatigue, loneliness, or uncomfortable realizations about myself and the ways in which I am avoiding God’s call.
Still, when I stop and think carefully, I know that I am content with what I have chosen, the work of hands and heart and mind, the quiet, the openings for further growth. I can’t have all the things I want, but I know what I want most. I know, also, that all that I need—not all that I want, not all that I may think I need, but all that I need—will be given to me. I remind myself of the promise: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)
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Today in Christian History
1607 – In Virginia, on the first Sunday after the arrival of the Jamestown Expedition, Anglican priest Robert Hunt, 39, held the first Anglican service in the New World. Named chaplain of the expedition to Jamestown, Hunt was also the first Anglican priest to come to America.
1932 – Death of John Hughes, 59, Welsh rail official and church worker. During his life, Hughes composed a number of hymns, including CWM RHONDDA, to which the Church today still sings “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah.”
1948 – After nineteen centuries of enforced exile, the Jewish people regained their homeland when the State of Israel was formally proclaimed in Tel Aviv. On this same date, the U.S. became the first world nation to recognize the newly-refounded state of Israel.
1950 – American missionary and martyr Jim Elliot wrote in his journal: ‘To believe is to act as though a thing were so. Merely saying a thing is so is no proof of my believing it.’
1974 – In the Anglican Church in England, the Rev. F. Donald Coggan, 64, was named the 101st Archbishop of Canterbury by Queen Elizabeth II, succeeding former Archbishop Michael Ramsey.
Source for Today in Christian History: www.studylight.org