Summary: Series on Chrisitan Stewardship This sermon is Part II of a story I wrote as the capstone of the entire stewarship series.

Sermon Title: Living the Simple Life

Place: Oakdale Wesleyan Church

Date: March 13, 2005

Subject: Living the Uncomplicated Life

Last week we began a story about a young spoiled prince whose parents were at their wits end. They conspired with an old friend who had the prince secretly taken by night to an Old Farmer’s house where he was to become a servant or farmhand to the farmer and his wife. At first the prince revolted against any such idea but after going without food for several days decided helping out wasn’t such a bad idea. Before long the prince settled into the daily routines of this simple life and the joy and happiness of the old farmer and his wife began to have a pleasant appeal to him. So on a journey to the coast line the old farmer revealed to the young prince that he too was a prince and his dad was the king of a vast kingdom until he was over thrown and banished to this sea shore. As they sat in the ruins of the home that the old farmer grew up in, the old farmer began to instruct the young prince in the lessons his father had passed on to him.

Lesson One: Buy things for their usefulness rather than their status

Lesson Two: Reject anything that produces an addiction in you

Lesson Three: Develop a habit of giving things away

Lesson Four: Refuse to propagandized by the custodians of modern gadgetry

Lesson Five: Learn to enjoy things without owning them

We left the prince and farmer last week with the prince drifting off to sleep but wanting to learn more.

The next morning the prince awoke early and beat the farmer down to the barn. He had half the chores done before the Old Farmer even arrived. As the farmer came into the barn he found the once handsomely dressed prince with attitude to go around standing in the middle of the cow manure whistling a happy tune as he worked to milk the cows. The farmer sort of chuckled to himself at the sight but quickly sat down to help the young prince finish the morning chores. The farmer asked if the young man had enjoyed their journey the day before and the young prince quickly responded that it was one of the best days of his life. Never before had he enjoyed the sea and its splendor, never before had he really taken the time to consider the simpler things in life. Never before did he enjoy just a quiet ride on the back of a horse through the woods as he had enjoyed the day before. The farmer told the young man that he would plan to journey to the sea shore at the end of this week and he would once again enjoy the company of the young prince.

That week the work seemed easy. What a few months before was hard and tedious labor now seemed to be a delight to accomplish. The young man joined the farmer to the town and helped him and his wife distribute vegetable and fruit and the farmer was right, as he gave away what he had worked so hard to produce joy filled his heart. When he saw the smiles of the little girls and boys as they sank their teeth into the bright red juicy apply words could not express the joy he was now feeling.

Although the young prince worked harder then he had ever worked in his life, the worked seemed to bring joy and happiness. The life of luxury and selfish pleasure he once lived in the castle seemed to be fading away in the simple pleasures of the day.

The prince eagerly awaited the end of the week in which the farmer promised to once again take him to the sea shore and finish giving him the lessons his father had passed on to him. The day finally came and the young lad quickly finished up all the morning chores on his own and even got the horses saddled up and ready for the journey. He came inside just as the farmer was getting ready to head out and told him that everything was done and he was ready to go. The farmer chuckled and reminded him they hadn’t even eaten breakfast yet. So they both took some time to enjoy a good meal before they left and as they ate the cheerful farmer’s wife prepared another lunch for them to take along.

As they sat eating breakfast the sun was starting to pierce its way through the woods and its rays were softly falling across the table of the modest farmer’s home. The dew was still thick on the grass and windows and so the reflection of the rays seemed to almost twinkle as they pierced the kitchen windows.

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