2 Corinthians 1:12: I tell you that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom, but solely by the grace of God. (Paul)
I don’t know if you enjoy simple things. I know I do. Maybe it’s because I’m rather simple myself. The world just seems so complicated sometimes, and it is a relief to retreat from that and enjoy what’s easy and, well, simple.
Take having a cat, for example. I know, our cat Nacho can get me up at 4 AM wanting to be fed (and she is always wanting to be fed) if I don’t leave her enough food for overnight. But that’s my fault, not hers, and when we lie on the bed reading or watching television or whatever and she snuggles close to us for warmth and companionship and purrs until she falls asleep and starts making funny little snoring sounds. If we get up for any reason and she’s awake, she moves over to lie where we were (for warmth or maybe also partly out of affection, I’m sure). Dislodging her can prove difficult. She’s an insistent cat, and she doesn’t want to give up her warm nest for someone six times her size and 190 pounds heavier. If she’s lying in the floor where we want to walk, we have to step over her. She’s not moving for anyone no matter how much they weigh or how much they feed her.
Nacho’s purring and presence create a sense of coziness and peace for us, but those cat sounds have actual health benefits. A purring cat can calm nerves, lower the risk of a heart attack by 40%, decrease blood pressure, lead to greater bone strength, and heal bones and muscles. Maybe doctors and hospitals could dole out cats to take home instead of prescriptions!
Obviously, inspite of some of the complications introduced by technology, inventions and improvements have made life much simpler through the years. Most of us in this country no longer have to fetch water from the river or warm ourselves solely by fireplaces or walk everywhere if we want to go someplace. Technology has made all this possible. None of us would want to spend months crossing an ocean or spin our own wool for the pleasure of wearing scratchy clothes.
It occurs to me that, in spite of the complex theology that has evolved around Christianity, becoming a Christian itself is the height of simplicity. We don’t have to pass an exam or run for miles or starve ourselves to achieve salvation. No, we have to answer a simple question and we are taken care of for eternity. That question is “Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that he came to earth to die for your sins so that you might live forever?” That’s all there is to it. We answer “yes” and we’re on our way. And when we are, we feel impelled to ask others the same question and await their answer. Then it’s up to them—they can’t be forced or tortured into giving the right answer. The idea of this unforced answer is also simple, and we should be glad for it.
Praise God for simplicity in this cosmically huge and complicated universe, for the simplicity of the question that makes us children of God, and for the death of Jesus Christ our Lord on the cross so that me might experience this beautiful and amazing simplicity both now and forever more. Amen.