Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Discovering "Falusi" Simplicity


The word has a derogatory connotation.

When something is simple, it is too easy for me -- not up to my intellectual level.

When a person is "simple," as many times people from Hungarian villages are easily labeled, we mean they are backward, unsophisticated, "not the sharpest knife in the drawer" so to speak.

Last week the simplicity of Hungarian village life poured into my home in the form of dirt. I arrived home late after taking our girls to their dance/gymnastics lessons only to find a definite layer of dirt all over the downstairs of our home. Although I was wearing house shoes, I could hear the grit under my feet with each step.

I quickly grabbed a broom and swept up enough dirt to plant a small, yet fertile, garden. "What happened here?" I thought to myself.

When Russ came in, I asked him about the layer of muck. I knew he always brought the boys home for icecream after baseball practice, but everyone takes off their shoes before entering a home in Hungary. It just did not make sense.

When questioned, Russ looked at me sheepishly. "Everyone took off their shoes," he insisted.

I shrugged my shoulders and commented, "I guess you guys played so hard they just got dirt inside their shoes."

Then Russell laughed a little. "Well actually," he stammered. "They took off their shoes and ran the bases in socks today."

My eyebrows raised into a large disbelieving arc. "Why?"

My husband threw his hands in the air. "They are 'falusi' (village kids)," he explained. "They said they run faster without shoes!"

I chuckled a little. "I hope they don't do that at a game in Budapest," I commented, thinking how embarrassing that would be.

Yeah, they are simple. But is that really so bad?

In 2005 17-year-old Steve Terret was found shot to death and shoeless in an alley on the south side of Chicago. Later investigation confirmed that he was killed for his $110 Nike AirJordan shoes.

That which these "simple" village kids so quickly lay aside, some city kids in this world have killed over.

Perhaps the village kids are on to something that could teach us a little about the Christian life. There is a reward in the laying aside of things. Of course, for these kids the reward was running faster. But for all of us so caught up in "acquisition" we often fail to ever understand the benefits of surrender.

"If you have only come as far as asking God for things, you have never come to the point of understanding the least bit of what surrender really means,"
Oswald Chambers noted, "You have become a Christian based on your own terms."

For the simple, surrender somehow comes easier. It is not clogged up with all our intellectual rantings, and analytical questions. Simplicity is able to recognize the point of stumbling AND willing to "cut it off" (Mark 9:43-45).

The Christian life in its fullness is simple surrender of everything we hold dear -- our very lives, that God "will give your life to you as a prize in all places, wherever you go." (Jeremiah 45:5 )God cannot give back what has not been fully given to Him.

"Once you do get to the point of total surrender to Him, you will be the most surprised and delighted person on earth..." Oswald Chambers comments in today's reading of My Utmost for His Highest. "If you are not there, it is either because of disobedience in your life or your refusal to be simple enough."

Maybe we all could use a touch of "Falusi" simplicity. Let's surrender our soles and run in the dirt for awhile. Maybe we will discover how much faster the surrendered soul can run.


Edo said...

Thank you so much for this post, Trudyka...

Gigi said...

i love falusi kids :DDDDD