There is often a cost associated with having a lot of choices.
Remember the days when hot coffee came in four choices … black, black with sugar, black with cream or black with cream and sugar. You didn’t have to think long before ordering.
You can walk into Starbucks and ask for a: Double Ristretto Venti Half-Soy Nonfat Decaf Organic Iced Vanilla Double-Shot Gingerbread Frappuccino Extra Hot With Foam Whipped Cream Upside Down Double Blended, One Sweet ‘N Low.
And that’s supposed to come out of the mouth of a person who just woke up and can’t remember his own name!
Breakfast cereals used to occupy about twenty feet of super market aisle space and now occupy both sides of a 60 foot aisle. You could buy some oatmeal, go home, make it and eat it and be out on a walk by the time you decide between 150 choices of breakfast food!
I’m not saying I object to choices. As part of the consumer society we have come to expect them … in our food and restaurant choices, the vehicles we drive and the church we attend.
But I begin to worry that in our complex, choice-laden world with more information at our fingertips than ever before, it might tend to seep into our relationship with Jesus. We start thinking that we can improve that relationship by doing more, reading more and keeping busy in ‘religious stuff.’
In reality Jesus calls us to simplify … to reduce the chaos of complexity into a more simple way of viewing life and living it accordingly.
Watch Jesus deal with the complex Jewish law given by Moses. There were 613 of these to follow (religiously)! They then multiplied exponentially. For instance to the law of the Sabbath they added 39 ways of doing this. These 39 were added to the 613 and they did this to the other basic laws until you needed a Cray computer to live a day without messing up somewhere.
So when an expert in religious law tried to trip him up by asking him which of the myriad laws was the most important, Jesus reduced all the clutter by saying: “Love the Lord your God with all you heart, soul and mind. And then love your neighbor as yourself.”
Love God. Love People. That’s the beauty of the simplicity of the Kingdom of God.
This week, stand as long as you need to in the cereal aisle, but keep your relationship with Jesus as simple as He made it to be.