Refocusing on Simplicity

Blogger’s note: Didn’t I start out to write about simplicity here?  Lately, I’ve been too much distracted by the noisy turmoil of political and economic change.  It occurs to me that politics and economics do not seem to lead to peace and simplicity.  Certain songs lead back to simplicity.

“How Can I Keep From Singing” is often identified as a Quaker hymn. However, the music was written by a Baptist minister, Robert Lowry, and first published in 1868, according to Wikipedia. The words are attributed to “Pauline T.”

Almost makes me forget anxiety and worry.

How Can I Keep From Singing

My life goes on in endless song:

Above earth’s lamentation,
I catch the sweet, tho’ far-off hymn

That hails a new creation.
Through all the tumult and the strife

I hear the music ringing;
It finds an echo in my soul–

How can I keep from singing?
What tho’ my joys and comfort die?

The Lord my Saviour liveth;
What tho’ the darkness gather round?

Songs in the night he giveth.
No storm can shake my inmost calm,

While to that refuge clinging;
Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth,

How can I keep from singing?
I lift my eyes; the cloud grows thin;

I see the blue above it;
And day by day this pathway smooths,

Since first I learned to love it.
The peace of Christ makes fresh my heart,

A fountain ever springing;
All things are mine since I am his–

How can I keep from singing?

4 thoughts on “Refocusing on Simplicity

  1. That’s a nice bit of phrasing there.
    I’m living a somewhat simplified life due to my inability to find a job to help me keep writing. And, I realized the other day that, should I ever find a job, I will probably not change some of the new habits I’ve taken on-for example clothes/shoe buying, less TV, more frugal eating, giving up little purchases designed to make me ‘feel better’ and the habit of questioning my motives when I get ready to spend money. Once you’ve done without something for awhile it’s easier to see what holds real value.


  2. Those are beautiful song lyrics and a nice treat on a pretty Sunday afternoon. I popped over and listened to the music on, which reminded me of being in church with my grandma in the early ’70’s, back when life was simpler.

    I often think of her and how she lived. Steadfast, carrying on no matter what. Three meals a day, tending to the chores and the garden in the summer and we always sat on the front porch, just to sit there.

    –“No storm can shake my inmost calm,
    While to that refuge clinging;” —

    My grandmother said that we never walk alone and to always remember that. Sometimes, it’s hard for me to believe it, but she sure did.

    Thanks for the Sunday morning treat and a little trip down memory lane.


  3. Walker and Dogkisses — Thanks for reading! It’s so easy for me to waste time on far-away things (or future things) that I can’t impact. And meanwhile, the present moment’s slipping past, hardly noticed.


  4. We all of us at times just have to take that step into that quiet moment of our thoughts and shut out all the turmoil.. switch off the TV and news and contemplate our own thoughts and collect them and gather around ourselves that peace which we can all find within….
    YOu said it all John.. Live In the NOW moment for we cannot do anything about the past.. We can only send our thoughts out to shape the future, Know that our minds are the Greatest creative tools upon this planet and we do have the power to manifest a better world.. We just need to have that faith and KNOW all things are possible. In a line from the above Song “” NO STORM CAN SHAKE MY INMOST CALM”….


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