Simplify. What a beautiful, absolutely refreshing concept it is that this word implies. Rather than meaning mundane, plain, or boring, as some might think, to me this word fully encompasses what a renewed life should, and can, look like. In the New Year we simplify and set goals for the next 12 months, during spring cleaning we organize our homes, rooms, and closets and simplify them. When one is baptized into the Kingdom of G-d they choose to simplify their heart and make room for what is now most important. We do undertake this idea of simplifying periodically, but it is not enough. Piles upon piles of junk accumulate anyway, in our thoughts, words, bedrooms, minds, lives, etc. I don’t know about you, but I feel like my heart & soul could really use a breath of fresh air to cleanse myself from this clutter daily.
To dig even deeper into this idea of simplicity, though, let’s build a connection between it and the word Holiness. I have been learning a lot about both of these terms recently, and how curiously similar they really are. To be simple can also mean to be holy. Any everyday occurrence, such as putting on your shoes or making the bed, can become a meaningful way to elevate ourselves to G-d. Just by purposely thinking about how thankful I am to have multiple pairs of shoes that I get to choose from each day, or praising G-d for blessing me with a comfortable bed and a house to sleep in every night during the process of these things, I can work towards achieving this state of elevation. It is all about having a positive, grateful mindset.
Think about the moment of baby Jesus’ birth. There was nothing absolutely extraordinary about it from first glance. I mean, yes, legions of angels appeared in the sky and sang praises to a baby whose birth was witnessed by farm animals, but still, for the most part it was a simple night, with simple people. But it was also the holiest of all holy nights. This occasion in history, as well as all the other stories that are written in the Bible for us to read at any time, sets a perfect example of marrying these two concepts, simplicity and holiness, and receiving a breathtaking life full of His blessing in return.