I had the opportunity to read Freedom of Simplicity by Richard Foster this week. The practice of Christian simplicity involves recapturing life the way God intended humanity to live. Christ calls us to reevaluate our rhythms, pace, and priorities.
Foster lays the foundation for Christian simplicity from the Old Testament, New Testament and historical Christian figures. He then transitions to the section of practice in our daily lives. One of the recurring themes throughout the text is “Christ at the Center.” The follow section, I have read repeatedly:
I hope you understand what I mean when I speak of living out of the Center. I am of course referring to God, but I do not mean God in an abstract theoretical sense, nor even God in the sense of One to be feared and revered. Nor do I mean God only in the sense of One to be loved and obeyed. For years I have loved him and sought to obey him, but he remained in on the periphery of my life. God and Christ were extremely important to me but certainly not the Center. After all, I had many tasks and aspirations that did not relate to God in the least. What, for heaven’s sake, did swimming and gardening have to do with God? I was deeply committed, but I was not integrated or unified. I thought that serving God was another duty to be added onto an already busy schedule.
But slowly I came to see that God desired to be not on the outskirts, but at the heart of my experience. Gardening was no longer an experience outside my relationship with God – I discovered God in the gardening. Swimming was no longer just good exercise – it became an opportunity for communion with God. God in Christ had become the Center. (pg. 80)
How many times do we experience life with Christ at the periphery? Foster’s words remind us of God’s communion with and in us. Let us begin the day shifting our perspective to see Christ at the Center of our lives and experiences.