Growth Exercises


February: Week 1

Reading the introduction to this month’s theme, it seems little wonder the author of Ecclesiastes writes in Chapter 7: “This is all that I have learned: God made us plain and simple, but we have made ourselves very complicated” (GNB). People of a certain age can still remember when the cereal options every morning were limited: Weet-bix, Rice Bubbles or Corn-flakes— that was it. Today the better part of an entire aisle offers you every conceivable combination of grains, nuts, fruits, and sugar! This does interesting (and often unhelpful) things to our ability to live simply and contentedly. 

In your Journal, make some observations on the ways in which you experience ‘complexity’ in your life (more than just at the breakfast table). What does your environment (your desk, your diary, your car) tell you about your experience of complexity? Can you identify situations where you might make choices to reject complexity and embrace simplicity?

Richard Foster suggests that we will know that we are beginning to live a life of simplicity (i.e. truly seeking God and his kingdom first) when we notice some freedom from anxiety. In addition to your other scripture readings this week, reflect on Matthew 6 this week and ask a friend to do the same. Try to meet for a coffee and discuss: are you loyalties divided? How do you know? What does that look like? What are some solutions?