Sunday, September 25, 2011

Going for the goods: part 2

Since arriving back in Loma Linda, we have launched a busy period of our lives. For me, the busyness centers on 2nd year Medical school and the Step 1 board exam this spring. In addition I am taking classes for a Masters in Ethics. Christy has also embarked on a stage of increased busyness. She recently accepted a full-time cardiac ICU nursing job at the University hospital. In her "free time", she will continue to be an on-call nurse for Linda Valley Care Center.

An idle mind may be the devil's workshop, but so is a neglected life. When we get so busy that we stop paying attention to life, dysfunction creeps in unnoticed. And the more maniacally focused we are on the 101 things we have to accomplish each a day, the longer we remain oblivious.

For us, living a simple life in Loma Linda requires constant vigilance. We stand against a steady stream of consumeristic society. It gently, insidiously, almost inexorably pushes us downstream one unnoticed inch at a time. The busier we become, the harder it is to notice these small concessions.

I won't confess a detailed list of our recent acquisitions, but we have certainly acquired more "stuff" over the past few months. In every instance, the acquisition seemed fully justified, but I feel a vague uneasiness as I look back at the aggregate. Did we really need any of it? Was it all necessary, or just nice?

After a month of medical school, the confiscation of our cherries seems to have happened years ago, but the memory will continue to serve a purpose in our lives. Whether that official was really "going for the goods" or merely fulfilling his duty, we don't want to be focused on acquisition. The loss of a basket of cherries should not unduly bother us, (it didn't). What matters so much more is the people and relationships in our lives. Living a simple life would have no purpose otherwise. We don't seek simplicity out of some desire for ascetic purity. The point is to lighten our wagon so that we can journey faster and better towards towards God and the people He as placed in our lives.

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