For Simplicity's Sake

"Buddhists condense!" my friend Jacie told me as she held up her thumb and forefinger. With her other hand she showed me a large, four-version, parallel Bible. I understood what she was saying but didn't really know how to respond. I've thought a lot about it over the years.

God's omniscience can be hard to fathom. When we know that God exists but then hear this piece of information: "He knows all things" (1 John 3:20), we might assume that He doesn't need to hear from us about the trivial things in our life. "I mean, if He already knows…" When you think about it, how much of our life is trivial, mundane and routine?

And how do we make sense of the entire Bible as applied to our entire life?

Simplicity is the key.

In Luke's gospel (10:39-42), Jesus tells Mary that "one thing is needful" (hence the name of this blog). Sometimes I can get so caught up with the sheer volume of information and input in my life that I forget to sit at Jesus' feet and fellowship with Him. God is upholding all things by the word of His power (Hebrews 1:3). "All things" includes my life and my problems, my dreams and aspirations. So what do I have to worry about? Nothing. But if I don't share with Him the things that fill my day, then I'll get overwhelmed and miss not only Jesus, but also His miracles—great and small—that counter every worry. Jesus told Mary's sister Martha, "Mary has chosen that good thing". We need to do the same. Choose the simplicity of Christ and let Him share the burden of cares and worries that may be distracting you from fellowship with Him. Don't let yourself be deceived into carrying all of this stuff yourself (2 Corinthians 11:3).

I saw Jacie a couple of years later. We caught up then afterwards, I brought up her comment. I told her about how Jesus, in effect, summed up the entire Bible with this statement of simplicity: "Love God, love others." (Matthew 22:37-40) I hope what I said will stick with her as her comment stuck with me.

Observe and Repose (Ten Commandments Redux part 4)