In with the Old, out with the New

One way that I'm essentialising my life

How do you keep up with it all? I mean all the content, the blog posts, the ideas, the formulas, the “must-read” articles and “must-watch” videos.

My answer: I can’t.

But for a long time I tried. It was a stark revelation to me when I was a minister, doing what I felt was my duty before God, and I realised I simply couldn’t read all the books on any given subject, and thus I could never be sure I had considered every point and was teaching what was definitely, certainly, totally true on any scripture.

It’s the same in my work. I was trying to read about psychology, sociology and anthropology to fill in the gaps on my engagement theory, but I couldn’t do it. There’s just too much content to consider.

This was a particular struggle when I was trying to solve my own faith-wrestle with the existence, or at least the common expression, of God. So many people had written so much about it: how could I ever come to a conclusion?

I realised that, as I wrote in my journal in 2015:

I cannot have it all, know it all, or do it all.

The solution, I have since decided, is to focus on what is essential.

And I have come to believe that what is essential is that which has stood the test of time. The Old.

Accordingly:

  • I gave away around 2/3rds of my library.
  • I am buying no new books for 2017, and possibly beyond.
  • I am not entertaining any new ideas.
  • I’m still not watching TED Talks, or listening to sermons, or the like.

Instead, I’m embracing the old.

For instance, one example of the Old is Jesus saying love your neighbour. Do we really need more than that?

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