I admit it, I’m simple.
I don’t actually see this as a problem by the way, simple suits me.
Perhaps I should explain some. How often have you been sitting with a friend, listening to them talk out a problem of theirs. You empathise with them, you share their pain.
Then, like the crinkly green muppet-like picture-of-awesomeness Broda you are, you cut straight to the heart of the issue, and offer wise and insightful advice.
Your friend looks at you, slightly puzzled, and offers the following retort:
“It isn’t that simple.”
Now, if you have more self control than I do, you probably don’t then fantasise about ripping said friends arms off and then beating them about the head and stumpy shoulders with the soggy ends. But if you, like me, are a picture of down to earth simplicity (and modesty, I should add), perhaps you’ll empathise with this particular rant.
As a Christian, people have often told me that I’ve taken the easy way. That I’m letting someone else dictate my actions, and so on and so forth. Somehow the simplicity of Christianity seems to scare some people, and they assume that it’s “the easy way”. Allow me a moment to clarify this point.
Christianity is the hardest bloody thing I’ve ever done.
It’s actually the simplicity of the world view that makes it so difficult. There’s very little room for interpretation with things like “love your enemy as yourself” and “if your enemy strikes you on the cheek, present him with the other one in case he feels like giving you matching bruises” (not quite verbatim from the trusty ol’ King James version, but you get the drift).
This is probably the underlying motivation behind the old favourite “it’s just not that simple”. Truth of that matter is, it probably /is/ that simple, but it’s also damned difficult. But let’s be realistic here, what would you rather admit to? A solution being unrealistic, or just too hard to want to attempt?
Enter that most vilified of the dichotomies, ‘Black and white’.
I don’t have an issue admitting I’m a black and white person (although you’ve probably already worked that out by now). Although I certainly admit that this funny thing called ‘grey’ exists. But what is grey?
If we turn back to our kindergarten art lessons, we know that if we combine black and white, the particles of the two paints smoosh next each other to create this thing called grey.
So what, then, is grey? Well, its lots of little bits of black mixed in with lots of little bits of white.
Thankfully, when life presents us with a ‘grey’ patch, separating the two does not require a chemical solvent, a reagent or two, and possibly one of those cool machines that take a combination of liquids, and shakes it like wet dog that just got tricked into jumping into the pool.
What it usually requires is some good hard thinking, some thoughtful boundaries, and some decisive action. Each of these can be difficult by themselves, let alone in quick succession, but it’s certainly doable.
But it’s not complicated.
So the next time you start to think that the answer you’re looking at is probably not that simple, think again honestly. It probably is.
What is something you’d like to simplify in your life? How do you try to complicate it in your mind?