Chasing Simplicity


By Sasha Knock

A few times a month, I visit a friend of mine in her nursing home. Despite the nearly fifty year age difference, she has taught me so much since we began our friendship. She has a great sense of style, a spunky Southern personality and has taught me a great deal about life and love. Recently, she inadvertently taught me a huge lesson in simplicity.

A few months ago, I was helping her with a few things around her humble home. Helping her with some laundry, I was impressed with the minimal amount of clothing she had in her closet — maybe ten items at most.

Later, when I walked into my own closet, I couldn’t help but feel a tad repulsed by the amount of clothing I had. There was so much excess. How did I let it get to this point? Did I really need this much stuff? Because that’s all it was. Stuff.

In a fit, I bagged up more than two-thirds of my closet and donated it. And let me tell you, I have never felt more free.

Growing up, people often complimented me on my style. I use to spend endless hours walking through shops, finding solace in clothing when life was stressing me out. Instead of turning to God in those moments, I turned to material possessions.

Society often pushes us to “buy this” or “buy that” in order to be happy. Scrolling past the endless social media “influencers” who show off new outfits and home decor, it’s easy to get caught up in this way of thinking.

There’s the idea that once we have that one thing, we’ll be happy. I’ll be “happy” once I have that pair of shoes, a better job, a boyfriend, a family. But that’s not where true happiness comes from. We often find that we search for our worth and value in the things we own — instead of finding it with God.

In the twilight of life, God will not judge us on our earthly possessions and human successes, but on how well we have loved.
— St. John of the Cross

Our worth and joy lies in relationship with God. He supplies our needs and He cares for us endlessly. Something or someone will not make us happy. We often live so far into our future goals instead living in the moment. True joy comes from our Savior and it comes from within. With the all the noise of the world, it’s easy to lose sight of this.

This “purge” has trickled into other areas of my life. I’ve had to ask myself, do I really need this many electronic devices? How am I allowing social media accounts dictate my time? What do I fill my time (and my heart) with? How am I pursuing a deeper relationship with God? Do I chase after God or do I chase after fleeting desires of the world?

Living with less has given me more time to focus on the important things. I meal plan, I spend more time in Adoration and I unplug from social media a few days a week. It’s a process, a learning curve and it isn’t always easy. But by living more intentionally, I’ve had less stress, less anxiety and honestly, it’s made getting ready in the morning so much easier.

I’m not saying that purging your possessions is the answer. It’s not a “one-size fits all” solution. However, I encourage you to look into your heart and find the areas of your life you can simplify.

How are you allowing God to be the center of your life? Are you allowing Him to fill your heart and mind?