simplicity and obscurity


“So for now I’ll continue to reduce and simplify, fight and engage until I know what else to do. What I know now is this: less. I don’t need to have the most, be the best, or reach the top. It is okay to pursue a life marked by obscurity and simplicity. It doesn’t matter what I own or how I’m perceived. Whether I succeed in the market or land hopelessly in the middle is irrelevant, although this used to keep me up at night.

I’m just beginning to embrace the liberation that only exists at the bottom, where I have nothing to defend, nothing to protect. Where it doesn’t matter if I’m right or esteemed or positioned well. I wonder if that’s the freedom Jesus meant when He said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 5:3). In order for Jesus’ Kingdom to come, my kingdom will have to go, and for the first time I think I’m okay with that.”

Jen Hatmaker, in 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess

I keep coming back to this passage. I read it a couple of months ago and, given my focus this year on simplicity, that one line ‘it’s okay to pursue a life marked by obscurity and simplicity‘ really caught my attention.

What kind of life am I pursuing?

More often that not, it’s marked by busyness and striving and trying to keep up with some unrealistic standard of who I should be, what I should be doing, where I should be heading. It felt like a long exhale, a cool summer breeze, a heavy load lifted, to realise it. is. okay. to pursue a life marked by different standards and measured by different parameters.

It is okay to pursue a life marked by ___________. How would you fill in the blank?

I started this year with simplicity, but I like the idea of obscurity too. (In fact, my little blog hiatus has been, in part, a practice in melting into the background for awhile, digging deep into a hidden life lived wholly and happily offline.)

I’d also like to add meaning and joy to that list, oh and service, and grace.

How about you? What do you want to pursue?

I’m gingerly testing the waters as to how I’d like to continue this blog. I blogged very regularly for the last few months because I was very unemployed. And very bored. Now I am very busy interning and very unsure if keeping a blog will add to my quest for simplicity, or detract from it. But I love the outlet that this space can be, so let’s just see how this goes!


2 thoughts on “simplicity and obscurity

  1. I hope it doesn’t detract too much, Laura, because your blog is so lovely! It’d be a shame to miss out on these refreshing posts. Xx

  2. Pingback: my one little word | laura swanson

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