Three words: excess, extravagance, and simplicity, and they're all related. In my life I see excess. At times I trip over it, and other times, it is distracting and becomes the fastest shortcut to a divided heart. It's in those moments where I become lonely for what drew me to Jesus to begin with, and that is the extravagance of His expressed love. There's not enough excess of material things in this temporal world that could ever compare to the beauty and the wealth of the eternal extravagance of Jesus. I look again at the excess in my life, and I become aware that my tendency toward it is an arch enemy to being able to receive the extravagance of the Lord. I cannot receive His extravagant love when I'm so preoccupied with excess. In the process of the glance upward to Him and then over here and over there, viewing the much, my heart then longs to simplify. When the much is used to fill the place reserved for His simple extravagance alone, then it must go. This process; the return to simplicity on all fronts, becomes that wide open basket where He can place the extravagance of His greatness, His love, and His presence. It's an act of grace. It's His loosening of my roots out of the material world that causes me to hear better, to see better, and to live more purely in a place that is really not my home.