When I was a young student in middle school I and my classmates read Walden by Henry David Thoreau, the great American naturalist, essayist, poet, and philosopher. Like most young souls I did not have any idea about the complexities of adulthood. After all, my parents took care of everything. What could’ve been simpler than that?
At the University of Houston, my wonderful Sociology Professor, Sheila Sheinberg, caused me to revisit Thoreau. Sheila warned her students about how our gadgets and possessions would soon pose significant barriers to experiencing nature. To live the simple life. Further, as we owned more of them, we would have to work ever harder to pay for them. All the hours and days spent working to pay for them would represent time away from the beauty of the Earth God created for us to enjoy. That Sociology class was long before the Internet of Things, Facebook, Google, personal computers, the iPhone, and other electronic devices.
With age and technology I find myself, like you, a human cyborg of sorts navigating a more and more increasingly complex and overly stimulated existence. My wheelchair has become my legs. My ear pods have become my ears. My iPhone and Google have become my augmented brain. I have to work hard to be fully in the present and to strive for the simple living in natural surroundings which Thoreau set as an example for all of us.
I do not know if Professor Sheinberg is alive anymore or where she lives. But, her love of teaching the good and simple life remains in my heart and mind so many years later.
God has spoken to us in Scripture about simplicity and contentment.
1 Timothy 6:6-8
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
Those who trust in their riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.
Dear God, when I awaken tomorrow, may my heart be ever grateful for Your gift to me of another day on Earth.
God, with prayer every day please help me to look forward to seeing, hearing, feeling, and touching the beauty around me.
To hold a young child.
To embrace one I love.
To hear a bird’s song or the notes of a beautiful symphony.
To listen in the silence of prayer for the beat of angel wings around me.
To plan at least one simple, small thing to look forward to or accomplish this day.
God, in being more mindful and present each and every day may I see a glimpse of the joy, pleasure and peace that await me in Heaven with You. Amen
If you like this prayer, please share.
If you want to purchase for yourself or a friend a copy of Bending Angels: Living Messengers of God’s Love or Prayerful Passages: Asking God’s Help in Reconciliation, Separation or Divorce, please click on here to go to Amazon.
Jack H. Emmott is a Senior Counsel of Gray, Reed & McGraw, LLP, a 145-lawyer full-service firm in Houston, Dallas, and Waco, Texas, a Board-Certified Family Law and Master Credentialed Collaborative Law Professional Divorce Attorney, Mediator, Author, Entrepreneur and Inspirational Speaker. For more information about Jack or his latest book, Bending Angels: Living Messengers of God’s Love, go to the Bending Angel website.