Some of the things I absolutely love in life are the simple things…I love hanging out and watching television, listening to music, playing with my cats…you know raindrops on roses and warm winter mittens…The best thing about my life is the fact that I am married to someone who also loves very simple things. Julie and I just celebrated our five year anniversary! That’s a big one, and what is so amazing is we just did simple things to celebrate…went out to dinner, had sparking grape juice (Jules doesn’t do the whole wine/champagne thing), and went to our favorite theme park Cypress Gardens…right in our own backyard. Simple things.
Now, don’t judge us…we are not boring…the fact is that life in general is so terribly complicated…so complicated that it is sometimes impossible to understand the true essence of the life we are trying to lead. What do we run around for? Why do we put ourselves through jobs, school, paying bills, keeping house, and the cycle of entertainment at the expense of missing the point? I do understand that it is the American way to do all those things, and I am not saying those things are bad or stupid, but is it worth it when we forget the beauty of the simple things? That’s what Jules and I are celebrating with our life together…the sweetness of putting on pajamas and snuggling up together…the wonder of a good pizza and movie…the craziness of being a team that knows each other…the simple things. I think that we sometimes lose our way in our relationships when we forget the simplicity of true fellowship and how truly satisfying it is to just be.
We get the same way when trying to develop spiritually. Spiritual development is the development with that divine relationship, which is the most basic relationship we have. It is the relationship between the Creator and the creation, and sometimes the creation (us) tries to add too much to the relationship with the Creator. We think we have to put on a certain sort of righteousness, have to add some sort of holiness, have to say the right words, and on and on and on. We feel guilty about not being perfect and so we cut off that relationship. We fight the fights of life, flailing around, feeling empty, and useless, and deep down…whether you claim to be a Christian or not…we know there is something more basic. We know life is not supposed to be as difficult as it has become. We know that it is supposed to be more simple.
As the Israelites were running from the Egyptians in the book of Exodus the reached a dead end…the Red Sea. They had been slaves and were kind of a weak and complaining people, and when they saw the obstacle in front of them they were sure it was all over. But then Moses says something interesting. “Moses answered the people, ‘Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.'” God is longing for us to be still. Be simple. The fights we fight, the daily battles mean very little if we forget the most basic things in life.
If we forget the beauty of love for each other, the beauty of love for our God, the beauty of just living…then our lives will be little more than a series of repetitive acts that end in the grave.