Pastor Jack Freed posted this bit of wisdom today in his blog, Jack’s Winning Words –
“Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.” (Advice from the Old Hillbilly)
Given the current focus upon political correctness, Freed had to immediately clarify that he was not using the term Hillbilly in any derogatory way. He then opined that he believes in the advice.
I often like to combine quotes that I have collected over time, because they seem to make more sense of something when combined. Such is the case today. An earlier post to Jack’s blog used this quote –
“That’s the way things come clear…all of a sudden…And then you realize how obvious they’ve been all along.” (Madeleine L’Engle)
I think the “all of a sudden” part doesn’t necessarily mean that the realization takes place quickly, just that, when the light bulb comes on in your head, it feels like it just happened. In many cases it may have taken years. During that time, it wasn’t necessarily that you didn’t see the obvious, but rather that you were in denial of the obvious. That can be especially true in cases of prejudices that are driven by fears. One can go years declining the opportunities to meet new people because they are “different”. Maybe there are places that you “just don’t go” because you have unfounded fears of dangers that you can’t really identify.
Then, one day, you take that chance to talk to someone who is different or go to that place that you would never go to. Suddenly you realize that that person or place is very interesting and that talking to them or going there was a pleasure. You bang yourself on the forehead and think, why was I denying myself this experience all this while? You realize that is was unfounded fears holding you back and life becomes richer for having overcome them.
Perhaps if take the advice from the Old Hillbilly and invert the order things will look and be a lot different for you. If you stop trying to control everything (an impossible task anyway), and leave it to God, you will be free to do the rest of those things that the Old Hillbilly advised.
A quick and easy way to do that is to start each day with the little prayer that I like to use – “Not my will but thy will be done.” Then you can go on to say, “Bring it on God. I’m ready to Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.”
Realize the obvious.