One of the delights of being around children is listening to their logic. Skylar, age 3, came downstairs after nap time in a pensive mood. Having spent two weeks away from her “brown house” in Florida while visiting Grandma Midgee in Michigan, her thoughts were on home.
She was thinking about the different doors at her house, counting out loud. “I have a door in front and a door in back. I have a door to my porch and one to the garage.”
“What about the door to your bedroom?” I said.
“Yes, and Micah has a door to his room, too,” she said, “and Mommy, too.”
Then her brow furrowed as she thought for a minute. “But Daddy doesn’t have a room, so Mommy shares her room with him.” Then she added, “She’s a good sharer.”
In one sense, being a thoughtful child is a confusing existence. There’s much children don’t know but are on a quest to find out, struggling to put the mental pieces together without necessarily having all the information. But as Skylar ended the above conversation, she seemed content with her own conclusion.
A child’s mind somehow resists becoming confused. Kids have an incredible ability to line up what they know, accept the facts at face value, and rise above uncertainty.
Sometimes in studying the Bible, I’ll search for the answer to a spiritual question but end up more confused than when I started. Scripture can be perplexing, resulting in doubt. But God keeps it simple for those of us who need that:
“Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” (1 John 5:12) Simple.
And, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.” (Acts 16:31) Simple.
Salvation is simple, clear-cut and plain. But how about living the Christian life? That gets complicated. Maybe, though, it isn’t as problematic as we think. Maybe we’re the ones making it that way, not God.
Most of us lean into an all-or-nothing philosophy, so when he sets forth his clear-cut path toward righteousness, we aren’t happy unless we can reach perfection, which of course we never can. But shouldn’t we believe him when he says he understands and knows our spirits are willing but our flesh is weak?
Maybe we should simply take a lesson from Skylar: accept at face value those things we know to be true, then move forward without complicating the facts. Simple.
“There is no time to waste, so don’t complicate your lives unnecessarily. Keep it simple —in marriage, grief, joy, whatever. Even in ordinary things—your daily routines of shopping, and so on. Deal as sparingly as possible with the things the world thrusts on you. This world as you see it is on its way out.” (1 Corinthians 7:29-31 The Message)