When One is Better than Two

Thursday, April 11th, 2024

Today, I want to look at a verse in Ecclesiastes. God has me on a journey of simplification and I think this verse sums up exactly where He is taking me. Ecclesiastes 4:6 (KJV) says:

Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit.

The word vexation in the original Greek means a feeding upon or a vain pursuit. As I develop more of a fasted lifestyle, it has become clearer and clearer how much my flesh screams for attention. Whether it’s a meal, a snack, a dessert or a cup of coffee, I see now more than ever how much I used to live solely on my fleshly demands. And this doesn’t just apply to food. It could be that thing that thinks I deserve to sit and watch TV or stare aimlessly at my phone when I could be using that time to read or pray. Now, I am not saying it’s bad to do those things, it’s just that I see how easily those things can become a distraction that pulls us away from Holy Spirit. Some days, it could just be going to sleep instead of watching TV so that my body and mind are more ready to get up early and spend time with God in the morning. This is all part of the simplification journey God has me walking out.

It has become a constant check of, is this really something I should be eating or doing or thinking about, or is my flesh still trying to rule the roost? I am starting to better decipher the pull that originates from my flesh. It sounds a little bit like, “Oh, I gotta have that,” or “Yes, I deserve that”, or “That one [insert thing] won’t hurt you.” It comes with a little side of sliminess that confirms it’s probably not something I need.

So, I am trying to live with one hand full of good and necessary food (veggies, protein, fruit, grain, dairy) instead of two hands full of all the necessary food, plus a buffet of processed snacks and some sort of dessert at the end of the night. My flesh always pushes back when I make these choices, which tells me I am on to something good. I really have to battle at the end of the night to not top myself off with some sort of sweet, salty treat. And again, this isn’t just about food. There are so many places throughout the day where I find myself distracted with “stinkin’ thinkin’”. Instead, I could be praying about whatever it is I am thinking about, or praying for some of the other people God puts on my heart to pray for. Are there things that we are reading or watching or listening to that may be pulling us away from the simple, single-minded life God calls us to?

Final Thoughts…

The more and more I simplify my life I can so see how it leads to a whole new level of quietness. When we spend less time giving into all the demands of our flesh, we are freer to live and move with the Holy Spirit. This always leads to greater levels of peace in our life. The more we can train ourselves to only listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit it really simplifies everything. It allows us to push out all the other anxiety-provoking, distracting voices that are vying for our attention. Lord, we ask, is that You? If not, show us how to seek out the quietness and rest of living with one hand full. We don’t want to run ourselves ragged trying to fill each hand, every closet, every cupboard and every flat spot in our homes. Show us our path of divine simplification.