Keep it Simple, Stupid!
Making life complicated is a special ability commonly exercised by adults of all ages, especially when under pressure. Otherwise known as “storm in a teacup syndrome,” this condition presents itself primarily as a situation with a simple solution. However, it is quickly exacerbated until it reaches a storm of epic proportions, of which magnitude the world has never seen, and all outcomes point to certain disaster.
Does this sound like you? We may not all operate on this level of drama, but I am convinced that we all have the ability to do so! Often it is in these moments, as our emotions are spiraling out of control, that the simple solutions evade us.
Both my husband and I started out in ministry as children and youth workers. One of the most valuable lessons that I learned during those years was to keep things simple. There is only so much information that a person can receive at one time, and the simple solutions are usually the most effective.
In our zeal and enthusiasm, the temptation was there to teach everything we knew in the 30 minutes we had available. Not only did this not work well, it was boring, and bored kids stop listening. After a baptism of fire (being thrown into the deep end on the mission field), and “trial by teenager” (finding out that you aren’t as prepared as you thought you were), we scrapped the carefully laid out curriculum that our team had spent months preparing and sought the Lord. What did the Lord say? “Keep it simple, stupid.” In other words, refocus and have fun!
Simple Acts Work Best
Our ten-step discipleship plan went out the window, along with the crafts, dramas and coloring activities designed to reinforce the key scriptures we wanted to emphasize. Hopelessly outnumbered and overwhelmed, it didn’t take us long to realize that the kids sitting on the dirt floor in front of us were not going to behave in the same way as our Sunday school class back home. They climbed the walls, the tin roof above us, devoured the week’s supply of candy on the first night, and couldn’t read (regardless if we had light to read by or not) because they were unschooled and hungry. What they needed most was to be loved and fed. That week, we learned from those children that the love of God changes lives through the simplest acts of human kindness.
Keep it simple, stupid! Have fun, eat candy, play games, laugh a lot. When we keep Jesus at the center we are keeping the main thing, the main thing!
“Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.””
Relationship with Jesus
Our relationship with Jesus is what enables us to love and live with those around us. The love of God is still the most simple and profound truth. As we start to grasp this, we begin to take ourselves less seriously. God’s love for us, and in us, eventually finds its way through us to others. We become the channel of peace in a world of craziness.
“You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.”
As I am writing this today, I know that there is someone who feels like their life is out of control. Turmoil, uncertainty and drama have followed you and there appears to be no clear way forward. This word of encouragement is for you. Jesus is the peace that you are looking for. It’s a good day to refocus and refire! Keep Jesus the main thing. Keep it simple, stupid!