As Simple as Breathing

By Brianna Hines

Time. This question of what I should be doing with mine has plagued me for a very long time (the irony, I know). It is why I chose to study simplicity in the first place. I just want to know what God wants me to do with my life! Part of our job as Christians is to wrestle with this question of what God wants us to do with our lives. What does He want? How does He want us to spend our time, our money, our talents?

Our culture just wants us to answer that question for ourselves. What do I want? Where do I want to go to school? What do I want to be when I grow up? Who do I want to marry? Where do I want to live? How many kids do I want to have? And the list goes on. How often do we pause that mantra and really ask God what He wants? 

Listen to Brianna share this week’s reflection post.

Simplicity is wanting what God wants, not what we want. The funny thing is, a lot of the time, we will end up getting what we want by doing what God wants, but the order of operations is crucial. If our focus shifts from wanting what God wants to the actual thing God is wanting for us, we won’t end up getting what God wants at all. We will spoil it. 

For instance, God wanted Abraham to have a kid. Abraham knew God wanted that. So, Abraham focused on getting a kid, but when he got one, it was his kid alright, but it wasn’t what God wanted. It was the wrong kid. The process was spoiled, and then they had to start all over again. God still wanted Abraham to have a kid. This time Abraham kept focusing on what God wanted, and God got Abraham a kid, the right kid, the right way, at the right time. This time it was still Abraham’s kid, but it was also God’s kid.

I’ll give you another example. God might want me to publish a book. I might know that God wants me to publish a book. But if my focus becomes publishing a book, and even if I do end up getting one published, it will be the wrong book. I need to keep my focus on pleasing God, and know that He has a thousand ways that He can get my book published. And iif He does, it will still be my book, but more importantly, it will be His book. You see? There are a thousand different things God might want us to do and also a thousand different ways He might go about getting us there. It is our job to just keep wanting what God wants without getting lost in the weeds.

But how do we know what that is? How do we know what God wants? We have to keep asking Him. If we want to live in simplicity, our prayers will be constant. We will be mentally chatting with God about everything we are thinking about. “Who do you want me to talk to at church today, God?” “Are the dishes more important than playing a board game right now?” “Should I pay for that lady’s groceries ahead of me, Father? She looks like she is having a rough day.” “Is now a good time to work on my Bible study, or should I wait until later?” “Give me the right words to say to my husband today, Lord.” “What do you think, God? Should I say yes to this invitation or not?” “How can I word this text so they will understand me, Lord?” And on and on and on. Pray, decide, trust. Pray, decide, trust. It should never end. Our prayers will become more and more like breathing as our lives become more and more simple. 

As I have read about past saints of the faith, these two things seemed to always go hand in hand. Simplicity and prayer. If that is all you take away from this series on simplicity, it is enough. All other worries about what to do, or what to say, or what to keep, or what to give away will fade into the background if we are constantly in our Father’s ear, seeking what He wants with all the moments of our days. It takes practice for sure. When we begin, it will feel like we are failing all the time. But as we go along, it will become more and more like breathing, something we do every waking moment without barely a thought. And one day we will wake up and realize that we care more about doing what God wants than what we want and doing so is actually quite easy for us, and we won’t be too stressed about the details. That will be a freeing day, a simple day. And then the next day we will get caught up in ourselves again, but thankfully our walk with God is a long one. And He is very patient as we stop to smell all the roses before continuing on with Him again. 

So the next time you find yourself wrestling with the question, “What do you want me to do, God?” know that you are in good company. The fact that you are asking the question means you are on the road to simplicity. God wants you to be asking that question, and not just when you are at the end of your rope but hundreds of times each and every day. You might be asking that question about choosing your future spouse or just choosing what to do in the next five minutes, but either way, you are keeping your focus on God, keeping your eye singly fixed on Him in that moment. He desires nothing more from you than that. God will work out the details. He has a thousand ways at His disposal to bring His desires about. All you need to do is keep asking Him what He wants. Pray, decide, trust. Pray, decide, trust. It’s that simple. He’ll take things from there.

For more on UFC Women’s Simplicity series, click here.

upcoming for UFC Women