A prayer for an easier life

David Epps

A couple of yr in the past, throughout a morning devotion time, I mentioned, “Lord, I think I would like to live a simple lifestyle.”

Now I had been studying throughout Lent about a number of monks, notably Jap Orthodox monks, and particularly those who had a historical past both on Mount Athos in Greece or in Russia/The Soviet Union. It appeared to me that these males have been much less distracted by the issues of the world and centered on residing a easy however grueling life-style that was devoted to God.

My life has at all times been busy. A few of that’s by calling. A pastor/priest, not less than this one, is on name 24/7 for 365 days of the yr. Even on trip, I take calls from members of the parish. I’ve at all times completed that. The one time that I’m away from the telephone is when I’m overseas, which isn’t usually.

Furthermore, I nearly have by no means confined myself to easily doing parish work. I’ve been concerned in denominational actions, taught karate, served on the native boards of teams just like the American Most cancers Society, have been a legislation enforcement chaplain for 5 companies over a course of 25 unbroken years, together with the Atlanta Division of the FBI, and a chaplain for a hearth division. I even graduated from a police academy and was sworn as a deputy sheriff.

I used to be a member (chaplain, after all) for the Georgia Protection Drive, have been concerned with veterans organizations — together with the Marine Corps League, having served in management on the native, state, and regional ranges, am a member of a bike membership, and … nicely, you get the concept.

When the youngsters have been at house, I attended their sporting occasions and have endeavored as a lot as doable to do the identical with the grandchildren. Along with that, I spent two years in hospital coaching programs and, whereas within the ministry, picked up a few graduate levels.

I might go on however I’m getting weary simply remembering all these items and, apart from, it’s uninteresting and boring to most readers.

So, I prayed to simplify my life-style. I have no idea what I had in thoughts. I suppose I had a fantasy that, in the future, I might get up and life can be … less complicated.

I believe I’m headed in that path but it surely’s not what I had in thoughts. For one factor, we’re downsizing. We’re about to place our house in the marketplace and transfer into a house a 3rd the scale of our present house.

We’ve got been in our present house greater than 28 years. Have you learnt how a lot stuff a household accumulates in almost three a long time? It’s quite a bit!

We’ve got 4 bedrooms within the present home. The home we’re constructing has one. We’re gifting away most of what we personal. Actually.

For the primary 10 years of out married life we had virtually nothing. In truth, once we moved into an unfurnished home that was owned by my in-laws, after seven years of marriage, we owned a desk, a chair, and a mattress. Now, after 47 years of marriage, I discover that we now have means an excessive amount of to take with us. That is painful.

I really like books, at all times have. I need to downsize my library as nicely. That’s actually painful. I discover that I’ve means too many garments, some I’ve stored for “when I lose weight and can get back into them.”

Properly, there’s no room for these now. I’ve given away all my books, tapes, and equipment related to my previous life in karate, which lasted about 30 years. I’ve been a collector of t-shirts. Eighty % of these should go.

I’ve surrendered all my management positions and volunteer issues exterior of the church, the diocese, and the army chaplaincy. I’ll proceed to be a member of the Marine Corps League and can trip my Harley so long as I can.

Due to our legislators, I not often watch the information as of late. Persons are not listening to one another anyway, simply shouting to be the loudest voice. I cannot miss that very a lot.

I’ve found {that a} less complicated life means coping with all of the muddle of life and disposing of it. Even the worthy issues and endeavors of the previous. After I moved to Georgia in 1983, I used to be the youngest and least skilled minister who spoke on the Peachtree Metropolis Neighborhood Good Friday service.

Now, if I calculate accurately, I’m the oldest and probably the most skilled pastor/priest to talk this previous Good Friday. I’m no spring rooster anymore. However I’ve realized over time that life is greater than busyness and exercise, greater than accumulating stuff, and much more than accomplishment.

An easier life-style is one I’ve by no means had. I’m not retiring, not less than within the close to future, and I would like these years to be amongst my finest. I would like them to be crammed with which means, relationships, and peace. I need to “finish well,” and, in simplicity, I consider I see a key.

I didn’t understand that praying for an easier life-style meant that I had to surrender the approach to life I had. However I’m nearly – nearly – adjusted to the idea. I had somebody name me from Illinois who, figuring out I used to be scuffling with giving up stuff, advised that I simply be grateful for what I’ve had and say, “Goodbye,” to that which needed to go. That has made quite a lot of sense.

I look ahead to getting accustomed to watching sunsets once more, to studying on the screened-in entrance porch because the deer wander by within the area, to not climbing stairs. To have a morning cup of espresso on that very same entrance porch earlier than I am going to the workplace. With out as many distractions, I look ahead to thought, and to contemplation, and to prayer. I look ahead to less complicated issues and less complicated occasions.

I’ve by no means named a home earlier than, however I’m giving it some thought. One title I’m contemplating is “Meadowview.” Our home might be on my son’s 12 acres subsequent to his home and the view is gorgeous. The opposite title is “The Oratory,” which imply “a place of prayer.” Each communicate of simplicity.

If I had recognized what can be concerned, I believe I might have by no means prayed that prayer. In truth, I by no means anticipated it to be answered — not less than in the best way it has been.

However, after a lot grumbling, complaining, second-guessing, performing unspiritual, and being a bear to stay with, I believe I’m lastly at peace with this transfer. In truth, I want we have been there now.

However we now have a home to promote and one other that’s nearly constructed. It’s time for an easier life.

[David Epps is the pastor of the Cathedral of Christ the King, Sharpsburg, GA between Newnan and Peachtree City ( He is the bishop of the Diocese of the Mid-South which consists of Georgia and Tennessee and the Associate Endorser for the Department of the Armed Forces, U. S. Military Chaplains, ICCEC. He may contacted at [email protected]]

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