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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Give Me Simple

This remote control nearly takes my breath away. Complicated. That’s the only word I can think of when I look at it. Sixty-two buttons. And four of the buttons are color codes, which, in various combinations with other buttons, vastly increases the possible functions. A killer remote. That’s what this is. It will wreak havoc on the brain functions of the poor soul who tries to make sense of the whole thing. On the other hand, some people would probably love it because it does so much.

Complicated. This remote tells me that life is too busy and stuffed, that we want every conceivable electronic function—or every conceivable thing or activity. We fill up our lives the way the manufacturer loaded buttons on this remote. And if I ask ten people if their life is too complicated, probably nine will say it is.

Simple. This remote inspires me to long for more simplicity in life—both mine and the world I live in. Simplicity of less stuff and less busyness, of focus on what’s important, and of the freedom that follows.

A key factor in pursuing and maintaining simplicity is my values and calling. They give me clarity in every area of life on what’s most important and what’s secondary.

Jesus did this his entire time on earth. When word spread that he was a miracle man, and crowds came to receive a touch from God, he got up and left. Left! He walked away and said, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent” (Luke 4:43). He could have done a gazillion things, but he focused on why he was here.

And when he visited Martha and Mary’s house, Martha was living the complicated life and doing all the work needed to serve the meal, and I appreciate Martha. It would have been a miserable supper without her. But Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and focused in simple attention to what was most important (Luke 10:38–42). Jesus said, “Only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Many things are good but not needed. Mary’s focused hunger for God put everything else in its proper secondary place in a life of blessed simplicity.

What is that worth to you?

Copyright © July 2017 by Peter Lundell. Used by permission.

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