Step one – Asking the question “What is it you want?” – More than a question, but a prayer

Tri & Nancy contemplating the question in 1971

It would seem like answering the question, “What is it that you want?” would be an easy thing to do, but if you’re really serious about it, I guarantee it’s not. The answer to this question beckons more than a quick emotional reaction, it demands a deeply thought out, sincere, and heartfelt response.  The true answer honestly requires authentic prayer; prayer that seeks God for revelation in an effort to discover the longings of your inner being.  The question isn’t a flippant’ “What do you want?” but rather, “What do you really, really want with your life?” This is why it is a matter of going to the Lord and asking Him to reveal to you what actually is already in your heart to do; what it is that He created you for. Understand, there are no accidents with God. Your life has purpose if you understand it or not. The key is to discover it. God gave you gifts and talents. He gave you a distinct personality. None of this is an accident but is meant to be used all together for a divine purpose.  Answering the question requires knowing who you are and what brings you authentic joy. When you begin to grasp this you begin to sense what it is you are destined to accomplish. It’s the one thing, maybe the only thing, which will ultimately give you true satisfaction and fulfillment. As a human being lands in the middle of God’s good, perfect and pleasing will they find themselves in the very middle of His grace. (Romans 12:1-3)  It’s the place where divine appointments, unexpected provision and otherwise closed doors begin to crack open.  It’s the only real avenue to the simplified life. Finding it renders one’s affairs down to the things that really matter so that energies can become focused and less time will be squandered.

Answering the question isn’t a onetime event. For me it has become an almost daily contemplation. Diligence is crucial because it’s easy to lose focus and get off track. For married people it’s a question, although first answered as an individual, must be responded to in collaboration with their spouse. I know Nancy and I started early contemplating our future together; even before we were married. We realized God had created each of us differently, but it was our desire to merge our gifting and personal uniqueness into a combined effort as we would take on the challenge of life together.  From the beginning we believed we wanted a life of simplicity, sustainability and meaning.  We pursued our dream the best we could then and through the many ups and downs and obstructions life brings, we ultimately never stopped. Periodically through nearly fifty years of our life together we have taken pause, revisited our dream, evaluated our progress, incorporated new goals and carried on. It is the way to a simplified meaningful life.

This series, “Steps to a more sustainable/simplified life” will be continued in a series of posts which will appear here on Timber Butte Homestead’s blog site. Please stay tuned.