Henry Thoreau was a man who lived in a culture more simple than our own, but he found it too noisy. You remember that he went to Walden Pond and all he took with him was a book or two and an axe. He said, "I can't maintain my equanimity unless I wander over fields for three or four hours a day." So he worked in his garden, he walked, he read and then he gave prescriptions for simplicity of living. His principles would be difficult to follow in the hustle and bustle of modern life, but they are worth remembering.
Thoreau said we should try to keep our accounts on our thumb nail. Imagine that with the IRS? He was all for simplicity of living, because the modern tendency to dabble in too many things can lead to tragedy.
This is especially true for our children. We have our kids involved in so many activities, supposedly to improve their IQ and a thousand other things, that our kids often manifest problems of nervousness and stress usually reserved for adults. In our day simplicity of living is an almost forgotten art.
Jesus lived an active life. There has never been another person who has accomplished so much in such a short amount of time. Yet, Jesus was never hurried or harried by life. What was Jesus' secret?
The answer is found in Mark 1:35, "And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed." It was during these quite times in communion with His heavenly Father that Jesus was able to sustain his sense of equilibrium and spiritual vitality. These times of prayer and meditation were what prepared Jesus to do the marvelous things that he did. Now, if Jesus needed a regular time for prayer and meditation with His heavenly Father, what about us?
W.E. Sangster wrote, "Slow me down Lord. Give me, amidst the confusion of my day, the calmness of the everlasting hills. Break the tension of my nerves and muscles with the soothing music of the singing streams that live in my memory. Help me to know the magical restorative power of sleep. Teach me the art of taking minute vacations … of slowing down to look at a flower, to chat with a friend, to pat a dog, to read a few lines from a good book. Slow me down Lord and inspire me to send my roots deep into the soil of life's enduring values that I may grow towards the stars of my greater destiny."