Back when life seemed simpler there was no Facebook or social media, I guess you could say social media was the local newspaper or the party line for the house phone. In my lifetime I have seen so much change when it comes to communication and the internet. What have we gained from this change, are we any better because of it? Do we love each more, do we have more time to spend with family and friends? The answer is no, we have not gained from it nor are we better people because of it and we spend less face to face time with the ones we love. This is the truth….
So why was life simpler years ago? Recently Michael came to me and ask if we could discuss something he was pondering. I said sure, what’s on your mind. He said dad, “why does it seem Moldovans live a simpler life than people from the West.?” So, I asked him, are you referring more to people in village, he said yes but also people of Europe in general. I asked him to explain more, he said the Moldovans seem to live simpler than even our family, they do not have stuff or worldly things. I said okay go on. He said they get by with what they need and do not worry so much about their wants. I simply said Michael you fingered it out on your own. In many cases the West lives by their wants and the Moldovans live by their needs. The newest phone is not needed, the biggest house in the community is not required or even the newest car on the block is not important. I said many times the West is not content with their true needs, they only see what they want as their needs. With this type of lifestyle comes many difficulties and I feel as thou we are seeing the consequences for these choices being played out now. I told him to think about this, life in the West is very different than it was even when I was a child. We played outside throughout the neighborhood from sun up to sun down, many days we had to be made to come in. We did not have cell phones much less the internet. I told him I even remember when we got cable tv for the first time, in one day we went from 3 or 4 channels to 40+ channels. He said many people do not have a tv in Moldovan much less cable. I then asked him are they okay without the tv and cable? He said, “yes of course they are”. I told him times were different then; I remember as a family we went and visited other family members. And it was not just on the weekend or a get together to celebrate something or someone, we spent quality time with family. Your cousins, aunts and uncles were close. So, he asked what happened, I said back to what you said, our wants became our needs. In order to meet our new needs life changed, more work to be done, less family time, we began to eat out in a drive thru bag, but we had everything we wanted.
He said dad, I do not want to live this way. The wants are not worth it if you lose the needs and the needs are to be loved by family, we should be happy with the needs. If the Lord feels it is His will he will bless us with some of the wants. Then he said something that blew me away, “Dad a shirt is a shirt no matter what the tag says, you even put it on the same way, it is a shirt and this pretty much applies to everything in life”.
Our conservation ended but I stood there and pulled him close and gave him a hug. I prayed to God in thanksgiving for Michael’s amazing heart, I wish many more young people could experience what he has in the last three and half years. He is 14 years old and he completely gets it. God has big plans for him and I feel he is searching out these plans now by having discussions like this one.
It truly amazes me to see how God holds all the puzzle pieces and how he adds to the puzzle each day. I had been thinking about a simpler life for nearly a week before Michael and I had this conservation. June 1ST is National Children’s Day in Moldova and our family was invited to help with the children’s day program in Lozova. The program was themed to include old carnival games of which many of had never been seen by the Moldovan children. Just simple games from the past, pick up ducks, water gun shoot, ball throw, photo booth, etc. As the program began the children arrived with smiles of happiness and joy for there was something new they had never seen before. The sun was shining down and the temperature was hot but this did not stop them. There were nearly 80 children in attendance, largest turn out for a children’s program in quite some time. The program lasted for a little more than two hours ending with prizes, a snack and cola, a real treat for many. A photo booth was setup for a chance to catch their smiles. They could choose many different goofy props to be used in their photos. It did not take long for the smiles of happiness to appear in the camera bringing not only a smile to my face but also sense of love begin spread throughout the church reminding me of times like this when I was a child. These children just simply want to be loved, something they don’t always feel. However, it is so easy to show them love because they live life by their needs and not their wants. A few games, a small snack, and a simple prize made them feel love and kept them entertained for hours.
I challenge you to give this some thought, the simple life, slow down and take time to see and feel the love God He has intended for your life. Let’s make our needs our needs and our wants our wants. Remember no matter what the label says in the shirt it is a shirt and we all put them on the same way. Thanks for your time, blessings to all.