Spiritual Renewal ~ Taize, France

Taize is a place of spiritual renewal. This morning when I left my girlfriend’s house I was as not sure where I would sleep this night. My hope was to stay at Taize, but they do not often take in “strays” for part of the week. They like you to stay the entire week. God is good and I have been allowed to stay until Friday, as was my hope. 

While I almost missed my train in Paris, there were friends there from Strasbourg whom I have not seen in many years. (We will catch up together soon.) They were cheering me on to catch the train to Macon. It reminded me of Hebrews 11 where the Saints who have gone before are cheering those who are still here. It was a beautiful gesture on their part.

So now I am settled in Taize. The dorm room holds six, but since I came late, this last room of adult women is not full. My roommate is from Sweden. This is her fifth time at Taize. She is a chaperone on a bus trip with students, but has said that she is on vacation. I will get to know her better as I did promise the brother who allowed me to stay that I would participate in the morning Bible study. 

Meanwhile, they have a lovely spring and pond at the end of a little fifteen minute walk where I spent much of the afternoon reading  the book of James. 

Brother Roger, who founded this community after World War II, based his community on three things: simplicity, joy and mercy. This is the year studying simplicity at Taize. I,too, am trying to live into simplicity as I attempt to live out of a packback that has very few things in it. 

So meanwhile, James says, beginning in 4:13, “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit,’ yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’ As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.”

This morning I did not know where I would sleep or what I would eat. It is my feeble attempt to live into simplicity. The next step for me is to figure out how to sustain simplicity. What allows you to live a more simplistic life?

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