"The glory of God is man fully alive." – St. IrenaeusThere is so much noise in this world. We are bombarded with messages, images, sounds, sights, smells, and words. In the midst of all the sound, it's easy to feel claustrophobic. Cluttered. To start conforming and slipping into patterns and trends and fads and wearing a facade. Donning masks that aren't who we are in an attempt to fit in. To be right. It may even be unconscious. It's only when the mask slips and the curtain falls that we realize how desperately we need to be reminded of what really matters and who we really are. Our time is whittled away in an attempt to enjoy the better part of our days when we're missing what's right in front of us.
I need to simplify. I want to be intentional with my time. I want to be authentic with my art. I want to be fierce with my life. Living fierce and loving deep does not mean checking social media constantly. It does not mean spending hours doing things that don't matter. It does not mean being at the top or having the most or doing it all.
It does mean celebrating stories, making art that matters, loving and investing in people, and living purposefully, passionately, and persistently. Choosing to go against the grain. Saying, "this isthe day the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it." Living in the here and now and being thankful for this moment. Live simply, love extravagantly, give generously, laugh more. This life is too short, too sudden to waste a day.
Smiles that crinkle the corner of eyes, the slap of cards at the table, laughter ringing in the house and echoing in the yard, light falling in dappled shadows on the ground, freckles dotting little button noses, white clouds filling blue skies vast, joy settling deep in laugh lines. I want to notice these things. I want to see the beauty in the simplicity. I want to celebrate the ordinary. I want to create art that is completely myself. Authentic. I want to be fully alive. I want to be fully present. I want to be fully me.
So, I am choosing to step back.
Take a break and simplify.
I'm not leaving this little space of mine, but I am drastically cutting back. I am slowly but surely weeding out areas of my life that are overgrown and untended. I am digging my hands deep in proverbial dirt and breathing the scent in of good clean earth. I am rediscovering and remembering and refreshing and looking to Christ.
I am deciding to step away from the excess. I am cutting out the clutter, ripping off the masks, turning off the noise, pulling out the weeds, and choosing instead to be present. To be really alive, to fully notice, to be wholly here. This is me, simplifying and growing and focusing on what really matters. I want to live authentically, intentionally, and passionately.