As with humility, Kelly cuts past a facile understanding of simplicity to describe the true virtue that lies underneath those outward signs that we sometimes label ‘simplicity.’
I have in mind something deeper than the simplification of our external programs, our absurdly crowded calendars of appointments through with so many pantingly and frantically gasp. These do become simplified in holy obedience, and the poise and preace we have been missing can really be found. But there is a deeper, an internal simplification of the whole of one’s personality, stilled, tranquil, in childlike trust listening ever to Eternity’s whisper, walking with a smile into the dark. [p. 45]
We are called beyond strain, to peace and power and joy and love and thorough abandonment of self. We are called to put our hand trustingly in His hand and walk the holy way, in no anxiety assuredly resting in him. [p. 46]
Intentionally clearing our calendar is a good practice, and so is turning off the TV, shunning materialistic excesses, and spending time quietly with God. But none of those things are ‘simplicity’ per se. Simplicity is the calmness of the soul that comes from deeply accepting that God is on his throne, his love is boundless, and his plans will be brought to fruition in the end. I may partner with him in his creative and restorative work, and I may sometimes struggle vigorously for the kingdom’s sake. But no outcome rests on my shoulders. All rests on God. So I can rest in him. This is the last, and lasting, fruit of holy obedience.