My introduction to the simple living concept came from Shane Claiborne, author of The Irresistible Revolution, Living as an Ordinary Radical. If you haven't had the chance to read this book, you should consider doing so, but be ready to have your nice comfortable Christian world rocked.
My struggle is trying to figure out what a simple life would look like for me. I don't consider my life to be extravagant by any means. That is when I compare myself to the American standard. However, if I compare my life to the lives of the millions of people worldwide who live in utter poverty, then it seems that I probably do live in excess. Having too much "stuff and things" is not living simply.
But it isn't only possessions that complicate life. It is activities as well. So many things to do, so many places to go. Even good things like church can become a burden when there are services three times a week and meetings in between.
I think about how I've heard that life used to be. Neighbors knew each other. Families and friends stopped by to sit on the porch and visit for a while. When there was a need, folks pitched in to help each other. People worked hard, but I'm sure that they slept well at night (without the aid of sleeping pills).
It's very hard not to get caught up in the American way of life: A full Day-Timer + lots of stuff, stuff and more stuff = Happiness
Maybe it is time to reevaluate our priorities and make some changes. Putting first things first...sounds pretty simple, doesn't it?