Skip to main content

Daily Thought: Complex and Simple

I say this because people often grumble as soon as a discussion about the meaning of human life, or the possibility of God, moves away from quite simple ideas and becomes more complicated.  Any world in which there are things as music and sex, laughter and tears, mountains and mathematics, eagles and earthworms, statues and symphonies and snowflakes and sunsets—and in which we humans find ourselves in the middle of it all—is bound to be a world in which the quest for truth, for reality, for what we can be sure of, is infinitely more complicated than simple yes-and-no questions will allow.  There is appropriate complexity along with appropriate simplicity.  The more we learn, the more we discover that we humans are fantastically complicated creatures.  Yet, on the other hand, human life is full of moments when we know that things are also very, very simple.

N. T. Wright, Simply Christian, HarperOne (2006), p. 49

Comments

Liane said…
I definitely lean towards the complicated. I'm all about detail and few things are simple for me. However, I'm also learning that something it is just that: SIMPLE. Although I am willing to adjust and learn and grow, I find that I bump into a lot of people who camp on the side of simple, and sometimes it appears as if they don't want to learn about complicated. In those instances I find that relationship can be very difficult or near impossible. They want a simple yes and no and then fill in the blanks with imaginary ideas... instead of the truth. I think that is sad. But if someone insist on imagination, I don't feel like there is a whole lot I can do about it. Is there? Sometimes it is then as simple as accepting that and leaving it (or them) be... perhaps?
Paul Steele said…
Liane thanks for another wonderful comment. I know I want to help people see beyond the simple things of faith, that life and following Jesus is both complicated and messy at times. Yet at the same time I think I miss out on the wonderful simple side of faith, the part of living in the mystery and trusting God. May God help us not only see the simplicity of faith, but also give us the discernment to follow the truth wherever complicated and messy place it might take us.

Popular posts from this blog

Prayer: Married Bedtime Prayer

My wife Jenny and I have been using the Bedtime Prayer that John Eldredge wrote for Walking with God as part of our bedtime routine.  As much as I have enjoyed the prayer I thought it was time for a prayer that was better suited to pray together.  Hopefully this will encourage you to implement prayer into your bedtime routine.

Our Father in Heaven, we pause at the end of this day to say thank You.  We give You thanks for the blessing of life, for the blessing of each other, for the blessing of family, and for the blessing of a home. You have richly blessed our lives. Restore us Father to Your Son Jesus.  He is the vine and we are the branches and He has become our source of life.  Open our hearts to receive the Holy Spirit's guidance, healing, and transformation.  May our lives and our marriage bear the fruit of the Spirit.  We surrender our lives and our marriage to You.  You have our bodies, possessions, and spirits; we give You our hearts, souls, minds, and strength.  We belon…

God Uses Unlikely People

One of the things that strike me about God is that the value society has given to people makes no difference to Him. In fact it seems that God would rather use the common, even the despised, people of the world to make a difference in this world. Consider Moses. God doesn’t use Moses when he is a prince of Egypt, but when he is a nomadic shepherd. Certainly God has used the rich and the powerful, but more often than not God has used the poor, sinful, and abused. God uses the unlikeliest people.

This reality comes our loud and clear at Christmas time. Think about the major characters of the Christmas story: Joseph who is a poor and scandalize carpenter, Mary who is a young and scandalized girl, Shepherds who are a bunch of untrustworthy characters. Only the Magi have credibility in society, but this diminishes in Jewish culture since these men were Gentiles. The most important event in the history of the world and God chooses people who are rejected and wouldn’t be believed by so…

Worship is a Lifestyle

"It's a lot easier to sing a song than it is to stop and touch the broken. It's a lot less taxing to go to church than to take 'church' to the world. But sharing with others is a sacrifice of worship that makes God smile." ~ Louie Giglio; The Air I Breathe

Worship isn't just about music. Worship isn't just an activity that is planned and programmed. Worship is about glorifying God with our lives. When we seek to honor God, we worship Him.

Worship happens anytime and anyplace. It happens Sunday mornings at church. It happens Wednesday night at Bible Study. It happens when we chat with our neighbor. It happens when we serve those in need. It happens when we show love to the lonely. Worship is what being a Christian is all about.

Worship is a life lived in response to God's gracious blessings. God has given us so much. We owe Him every breath we breathe. He is responsible for our talents we use. God has given us blessing after blessing. Only a life o…