An area of my life that I’ve been working on in the last few years is simplicity. I need more simplicity, from my closet to my daily bible study routine and even those nifty tools in the kitchen. I struggle with falling victim to gadgets and gizmos that claim to make my life easier. However, when I realize that a new gizmo only requires another washing and space to be stored, I’ve learned that I have fallen prey to missing out on the benefits of simplicity.
There really is a lot to be said for simplicity. I still struggle with the concept of simplicity, but I see the benefits and am beginning to understand them more clearly. One thing that really struck me during my trips to these historic churches was the beautiful simplicity of St. George’s Church. The wooden floors, the simple paned windows and the practicality of the wine-glass pulpit remind me that over the years, the efforts toward simplicity have remained a priority in this building.
My first impression of the pulpit was that it seemed of great importance in the sanctuary. It appeared to be overwhelming and I had no desire to preach my assignments from that location! But, as I settled into the space and heard sermon after sermon sitting in this simply beautiful room I began to see the pulpit in a different way. Not until I ascended the stairs and began to speak did I realize that this pulpit was indeed a humbling place. I was surprised that my voice carried throughout the room without too much effort. And, to see the names behind me on the wall of the pastors who preached God’s word hundreds of years before in this same space was very humbling. Yes, there have been changes and renovations. But, Freeborn Garrettson and other founding fathers of our Methodist movement spoke in that very room. And, while I do not know the complete details of the life of Freeborn Garrettson, I understand he was a radical in his day. I wish we could hear the words of wisdom that may have been shared in that very room hundreds of years ago. I can only imagine words were spoken in that room that encouraged a life of piety that Garrison is known for encouraging and supporting. And, while a life of piety may seem far from simple, I’m thinking it may be a little deceiving like the wine-glass pulpit.
A life of piety may seem overwhelming and larger than life. But, once you step into living a life of piety, it too is humbling and your voice carries louder than ever before. I think that piety may have a negative connotation because if you think of becoming pious, that is often defined as devoutly religious. Instead, I view a life of piety as John Wesley did by living life through the means of grace. A life of piety is the attitude that your entire life takes on. A life of piety is heart religion.
Is your life a prayer? Are you striving for constant communion with him or simply looking to fill up on Sundays? As we open up our lives to constant communion with God, our relationships often deepen as we become more aware of his constant communion with us. A pious life is a whole life committed to following God and I believe that the less distractions we have in our life, the more simply we can see God’s work and call on our lives. And, when you begin to see God’s work in your life, you are often humbled.
Whitney R. Simpson
• author • yoga & meditation teacher • spiritual director • creating soul care resources for exploring the gift of God's peace with breath, body & spirit •
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Whitney R. Simpson,
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