Sometimes the simple instructions are anything but. You hear the words and think you understand. Then, just when you execute, everything changes! Nothing is happening in line with your imagination. Everything you anticipated isn’t, anything you did think about is. What happened to those simple instructions? Did I never understand, even then? Were things always going to be this complicated? How could I have missed something this obvious? Is anything actually going to work, ever?
We all have these moments. I might try denial, but then I remember the desk I had to assemble. There were fifty-nine steps spread over multiple pages, each with exploding diagrams! If you tried to lay out all the pieces for the desk in the room, there wasn’t room. Even something as simple as a DVD or VCR player isn’t. I gave up on the VCR player five years ago and have stumbled my way into an understanding with the DVD. At least the basics work. Taking things to the maximum with either machine is highly unlikely to impossible.
Far too often I find myself in one of two extremes with God. Either I think I have everything figured out, know exactly what to do, and quit listening or I am totally confused, frozen mentally, physically, and emotionally, unable to act in anyway that could be considered coherent. It is as if the instructions I think are on the table are mere words to confuse, baffle, and mislead. When I look around me I find I have many who appear to be in the same state. It is as if we have overlooked something obvious and we don’t know anything is missing! Could it really be as simple as it seems? Am I doomed to walk drunkenly through life, unable to function in a God centric way?
Jesus anticipated the problem and made it really simple. “This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends.” (John 15.13) Do this and understand. Do this and live. Do this and be fully and completely human.
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