Monday, January 16, 2012

Keep It Simple Stupid

The term, "Keep It Simple, Stupid!" originated with an engineering team that has developed some of the most complex flying machines known to man. Lockeed Martin's Skunk Works has given us the U2, SR-71 Blackbird, F-117 Stealth Fighter/Bomber, and the new F-35 Strike Fighter. Those machines to not accomplish what they accomplish because they are simple. Yet, their creation required thousands of simple solutions.   

We think that if life is complex, it is significant. We believe that if we can fill our lives with ideas, facts, events, and knowledge, we will have great and significant lives. One of our greatest thinkers knew that simplicity was the solution to complexity, so he, Albert Einstein, wrote, "Out of complexity, find simplicity."  One of our most beautiful composers discovered the same, and so Chopin wrote, "Simplicity is the final achievement. After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art."  

Why then do we continue to worship busyness and complexity? Why do we look down on people and churches with empty schedules?  Why are we thrilled by complex doctrine?  I, a pastor, have never heard, "We are so glad to be here. Things are so simple."  It is always, "Wow, it's great that you have so much going on."

Simplicity, you see, requires humility. Humility is the enemy of the human ego, and we are all ego-maniacs at heart. All we like sheep have gone astray, thinking our way was better than His way.  The original ego-maniac, Satan, knows this. He has always wanted to be greater than himself, even greater than God. So, I believe he has become adept at making life complex, even influencing the human mind so that we think that the more complex our doctrine, the more spiritual we have become; the busier we are, the more important. The Apostle Paul wrote, "But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve in his craftiness, your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity and the purity that is toward Christ." (2Cor.11:3) 

God in unfathomable, and yet, in Christ, He has made Himself knowable. He is infinitely more complex than any human mind will ever comprehend, and yet His kingdom is populated with little children. And, the only way to be part of it is by humbly coming to Him as a child and believing the simplest of truths.

Life is not simple, but the answer is not in discovering its complexicty. To live life as it was intended, we need only to walk in it with the Creator, by faith in His Son, hearing His voice and following Him as Adam and Eve did before they listened to the ego-maniac, Satan.

God's goal is not a shallow life or shallow faith, but complexity does not equal depth. The key to life is in knowing the infinitely complex Creator of the Universe personally. Don't be stupid like Satan. Keep it simple. Make knowing Christ the beginning and end of your quest.