Stories, thoughts and reflections on the Bible from the WSFC Staff.
During the month of August at WSFC we’ve been in our PAUSE teaching series from Genesis 26:25. Week one was about “Building Altars” and it focused upon our spiritual lives. Week two was about “Pitching Tents” and together we considered our personal lives and how it should integrate together with the spiritual.
Reminder: Our altars should be permanent and our tents should be temporary. Sadly, we often reverse these.
This morning I finished reading the journals of Richard Proenneke called “One Man’s Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey.” This best-selling book became the basis for the enormously popular documentary “Alone in the Wilderness.” It chronicles the day-to-day explorations and activities that Proenneke carried out alone, including the clearing of land, cutting of trees, and building of a log cabin. He lived a simple life off of the land for an extended period of time and continued to visit his handiwork until his death at the age of 87.
I want to give you a few random quotes from him journals in light of the teaching this last weekend about our temporary personal lives. I used the concept of a Tent, and I know that Proenneke built a home (not a tent), but there are principles about simplicity, detachment from stuff and contentment that I believe is valuable for us to grab onto.
From Richard Proenneke’s journals:
“What a man never has, he never misses.”
“In time man gets used to almost anything, but the problem seems to be that technology is advancing faster than he can adjust to it. I think it’s time we started applying the brakes, slowing down our greed and slowing down the world.”
“I realize that men working together can perform miracles such as sending men to walk on the surface of the moon. There is definitely a need and a place for teamwork, but there is also a need for an individual sometime in his life to forget the world of parts and pieces and put something together on his own–complete something. He’s got to create.”
“I have learned patience, learned to take my time and try to do a job right by first figuring it out. No sense to rushing and going off half cocked; there plenty of time out here.”
“Needs? I guess that is what bothers so many folks. They keep expanding their needs until they are dependent on too many things and too many other people. I don’t understand economics, and I suppose the country would be in a real mess if people suddenly cut out a lot of things they don’t need. I wonder how many things in the average American home could be eliminated if the question were asked, ‘Must I really have this?’ I guess most of the extras are chalked up to comfort or saving time. Funny thing about comfort: one man’s comfort is another man’s misery.”