Sunday, July 8, 2012

A Radical Experiment

My daughter, Sarah, my son-in-law, Bob, and I are on a quest. Along with Sarah’s small group Bible study gals and some of their supportive husbands, we are all on a similar, but personal journey. This challenging adventure is based on a book titled: Seven: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess.  Written by pastor’s wife, Jen Hatmaker: it was a social experiment, that for her, turned into a spiritual journey.

When Sarah started talking about the interesting project, my curiosity was peaked and my desire to support her was born. Though this has the potential for spiritual growth, I know it will be a very personal pilgrimage and will be a unique journey for each of us. We may or may not sense God in the midst of it. But it’s possible that we might experience God on a deeper level. One thing is certain: it will be a individual exploration as all of us are on a mission to find greater simplicity on many levels.

Jen Hatmaker was inspired to launch this experiment because the Lord had been convicting her about some areas of excess in her life. This was in addition to a ten year old boy’s comment that forever changed her life. Upon entering her home he made reference to how rich she and her family were. That one sentence changed her life. Although she never thought of herself that way, she was soon to learn that compared to most of the rest of the world... her family (and most of ours) were wealthy beyond comprehension...relatively speaking. It stopped her world.

God inspired Jen to attack seven areas of excess in her life. As she pursued God’s heart on this matter, she prayed for six months and asked Him for a plan to show her His perspective. The areas of excess that she pursued were: food, clothes, possessions, media, waste, spending and stress.

I really don't’ know what to expect as we go through this seven month long (plus) process. We will focus on one area of excess at a time for a month. We have been encouraged to journal about our experiences  along the way.  Then we will take a week off to process what we learned that month and to prepare for the next months challenges.                           

Having just completed the second month of our experiment, I am anxious to share what it has been like and to try to verbalize my feelings about how this process is affecting me. Seven is about perspective and I look forward to the lessons that it has to offer. I have never done anything quite so radical before. I am curious to see what kind of long-lasting impact (if any) this experiment will have and if I will make any significant changes because of it. Right now, I desire to simplify my life, support my loved ones, and hopefully experience God in a unique and fresh way. I hope you will find my journey interesting as I process it. I already know is going to be good for me.

I haven’t yet read the entire book, as I don’t want to be overwhelmed by all the issues we will be addressing. It is easier to just focus on the challenges of the month we are working on. But I can tell you that Jen Hatmaker’s book is a fun and delightful read as she shares honestly and hilariously about her own experiences. Based on what I have read so far, I highly recommend her book.