According to Wikipedia, Diogenes of Sinope was a Greek philosopher who believed that virtue was better revealed in action and not theory, and whose life was a relentless campaign to debunk the social values and institutions of what he saw as a corrupt society. I love this story about Diogenes approach to life:
A friend of Diogenes visited him and found him eating a dinner of lentils. The friend was a courtier in the court of the king. He said to Diogenes, “If you would learn to flatter the king you would not have to eat lentils.” Diogenes replied, “And if you would learn to eat lentils you would not have to flatter the king.”
One of the ways that this No Restaurant project has made me more aware of the ways that I refuse to “eat lentils”:
- Eating out way too many times each week
- Buying books and DVDs instead of using the library or trading with friends
- Purchasing new appliances instead of having old ones repaired
Starbucks – enough said
What has my refusal to live simply robbed me of?
- Family time – I have had to work overtime to pay for the convenience of restaurant food because I am too tired to cook – get the irony?
- Buying books and CDs instead of borrowing them – and then not having the time to read/watch them
- Paying too much for a new computer when I was single and super broke – because I didn’t have the time to look for a deal.
- Time in the morning with God because I am too busy trying to do ministry.
I am working really hard to learn to eat the lentils in my life – I want the freedom that simplicity offers – not for simplicity’s sake, but in order to live the life that I believe that God wants for me and my family.
My question for you today – and please share – I have heard from so many women that they are as inspired and challenged (in a good way) as I am by your responses – is:
How are you learning to “eat the lentils” (live on less or more simply) in your life?
She and her husband Roger are the parents of four young adults in San Jose, CA. When she’s not dating her husband or hanging out with her puggle Jake, Kathi is speaking at retreats, conferences and women’s events across the US.