Simplicity at Work: Hearing from the High Calling Community

Blog / Produced by The High Calling

This has been an interesting week as we’ve explored the theme of Simplicity at Work.The thoughts, insights, and variety of thought on the subject has been stunning.

While I’ve been sourcing, procuring and soliciting posts on the theme from the High Calling community on the topic, my workplace has become incredible complicated. Office politics, a new management team, and external pressures have mounted. In a word, I’m really no closer to simplicity at work. But the input from all of you has resonated and looking for ways to invite the simple and glorious into my workplace.

Trina Cress has a thoughtful post on her quest for simplicity that first appeared at her blog Beginner Beans and earlier this week.

“I'm not talking about the simplicity you find in the next minimalism book,” she writes. “I don't want to research the next right steps to declutter. I simply want simplicity.” She claims we all have access to simplicity -- today.

“We have the opportunity to pause. To count our blessings. To thank the King for His provisions,” she said. She calls it Kingdom Contentment. Read her post Simplicity Simplifed.

Kate Motaung is a humorous, witty writer who describes her fruits of the Spirit – “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control, flying out of the sliding van door faster than kids diving out.”

She has found her busyness to be a direct result of overcommittment. “When we feel imprisoned by our busyness, we should be asking who locked the shackles around our wrists in the first place?” On Monday, we featured her article Why Did I Say "Yes"?

In the same vein of making smarter choices, blogger Chris Peek is also a new father. And the simple, yet demanding needs of his newborn son have caused him to reflect on what’s really important. “Simplicity requires us to say ‘no’ sometimes to even ‘good’ things.” We featured his post, Why Simplicity is Necessary to Live in a Story that Matters.

Another mom sent us her story about the power of simplicity and slowing down. To her son, Leigh Powers was her most influential when she laid down at his side to color a picture with him. Simple pleasures make lifetime memories. “Do not despise the day of small things,” she quotes the prophet Zechariah.

Claire Carter was a high-powered assistant district attorney, helping administer justice for the defenseless. But she found the troubling cases involving the depravity of man to be a detriment to her longing for simplicity. She needed “simpler work that doesn’t involve peering into the blackness of the human heart.” On Wednesday we featured her A Mistrial of Simplicity.

Laurel Davis, who blogs at the Reluctant First Lady, recalls an incident at a park when a boy on a scooter interrupted her time with her quiet time with her husband. He taught them a valuable lesson about simply asking for his needs in a confident, yet humble manner. Simplicity at work comes down to prayer. Read the post, All You Gotta Do Is Ask here.

Erin Cox works at a educational child care center, which is another word for “chaos.” But despite the whirl of activity, emotions, and needs of every child, she breaks her tasks down into simple ones – caring, loving, and sharing. “We don’t have to acknowledge ethe stress that comes with any job. Just keep it simple.”

Carolyn Burkhart is a vendor at a supercenter, displaying greeting cards. Her ministry is to smile, give hugs and encouraging words to customers who need it. “We are called demonstrate His love wehreeer we are,” she writes.

We had others weigh in like High Calling photographer and blogger Simply Darlene. She recently wrote about her rustic lifestyle. She cooks by woodstove, dries clothes on lines, and washes dishes by hand. Her workplace operates by the hard work and toil of her hands. Her life is actually complicated by the simplicity.

Darlene launches her husband off to work at 4 a.m., and she does so with remarkable efficiency, established by disciplined routine. The lessons are duplicated in the home-schooling environment. “I work hard at the simplicity of the mundane because that’s how I love my people,” she writes. Read her intriguing post here.

Our featured community post of the week was the one written by Kari Scare. Her Focus Determines Reality article chronicles a method of organization that actually seems complex, until you get to the heart of the matter – stay focused.

We often cheer multitaskers and seek to emulate their ways. Two computer screen monitors, emailing while watching a streaming video, and listening to sermons while surfing the web are amazing accomplishments at first blush.

But Kari disagrees. “Not only does quality suffer when we multitask, we get worse at multitasking the more we do it,” she writes, “The more we divide our attention, the less productive we are. When we …quit trying to be all things to all people, we find a simplicity of focus that results in increased productivity and effectiveness.”

She takes from Proverb which says, “Fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; then stick to the path and stay safe. Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.”

I encourage you to read her entire post, Focus Determines Reality.


Simplicity at Work

In our complicated, 21st century, high-tech, high-speed world, people have begun to crave a simpler approach to life and work. In the series Simplicity at Work, The High Calling explores simplicity in the places we work and the ways we work; and, perhaps more subtly, we want to explore simplicity at work in us through a variety of stories that reveal ways people find freedom and success when they simplify. Join us for Bible reflections, featured articles, and discussion. Invite your colleagues to do the same.