Why is simple so complicated?
I hear all the time how people wish they could go back to a simpler time such as 6 or 7 years old. It seems that while we all wish for the future while yearning for the past. We fail to see that at every turn in life there are freedoms and limitations. Simple is not an age, but a choice and state of mind. In the same way, complicated is a choice and state of mind.
Adam and Eve had everything and life was simple. There was just one thing – don’t eat from the tree in the middle of garden. Simple. Yet it wasn’t long and it became complicated. Two bites and they were subjected to complicated living.
The Israelites were given 10 things. Ten guidelines for better living and freedom with God and others. It wasn’t long and 10 became 20 and later 1000’s. The simple became complicated. Moses even tried to remind them of the simplicity:
Listen, Israel, and be careful to follow [them], so that you may prosper and multiply greatly, because Yahweh, the God of your fathers, has promised you a land flowing with milk and honey.
“Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Deuteronomy 6:3-9 HCSB
Simple. Give God your full attention and He will give you His. Why do we complicate things?
So often we believe that being younger is better. We remember no worries, no responsibilities, no problems. What we forget is that we couldn’t drive, couldn’t reach the shelves, and couldn’t stay out past dinner. Life was simpler but limited. Why is it that with age comes complication? Was Moses delivering the children’s message at Mt. Sinai? Moses was speaking to the leaders. He was speaking to adults!
Your life and my life does not have to be complicated! You can have a simpler life. We argue that kids, car payments, mortgages, and jobs we despise would beg to differ. God has a much bigger and better plan in mind for us. Complicated is what Satan uses as a distraction. We are shown all these wonderful things and tempted to chase after them. We get sucked in and soon our heart, soul, strength, and mind have settled on the things of this world. God spoke through Moses a simpler way. He later spoke through the prophets a simpler way to love God more than religion. Then Jesus comes along. Life was so complicated. The religious leaders asked Jesus one day what He thought the greatest commandment was for them. Were they asking for simplicity? Had they grown tired of the complex?
“Jesus tell us how to find simplicity.” He goes to the basics. He goes to the Shema quoted above out of Deuteronomy. Simplicity begins when we focus on one thing rather than a thousand. Simplicity can be yours. Simplicity is what God has desired and designed for us to have.
Lord help me to accept the simple in the face of temptation to be complicated.