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Go For The Simple! Go For The Simple!
    by Cary Branscum

    We live in a complicated society. Technology, media, the economy have increased both the speed and complexity of life. We are often baffled and bewildered by our choices and decisions. Our senses are bombarded by sensations “24/7”. In fact many of us now live “24/7”. In the midst of all this stuff, we find ourselves on overload and fall like a slug onto the sofa and channel-surf till we fall into an agitated sleep.

    David Thoreau said “simplify, simplify” and I have a suggestion along those lines, GO FOR SIMPLE FIRST. It’s easy to believe everything in our society is complicated, but not everything is. Some things have a simple fix. Unfortunately we often compound our problem when we look for a complex solution when a simple solution will do the trick. Let me give you some examples.

Years ago, I bought a new pickup. It ran fine for a few days, then it wouldn’t start. It sat in my garage dead as a doornail. I tried everything possible, even “popping the clutch”. I had it towed to the dealer, and I was not too happy about a new truck refusing to start. The problem? It was out of gas. Even new vehicles need gas.

I called the TV repairman. The TV was unplugged.

I took the lawn mower in for repairs. I learned my lesson from the truck incident, and looked first to make sure the gas tank was full. It was. The diagnosis? It was OUT OF GAS! Impossible, the tank was full. Yes it was full, the repairman explained, full of apple juice! I looked down at my five year old son who at that very moment was sipping from a cup filled with apple juice.

Simple solutions need to be checked first.
    Simple solutions need to be checked first. We put ourselves out for complex answers when they may not be needed. Only when the simple fails should the complex solutions be explored.

    Now let’s look at some spiritual life applications.

You speak to someone, and they don’t speak back. You spend the night tossing and turning wondering why someone snubbed you, only to later find out they didn’t hear you.

You may feel no one cares when in fact you are just staring too hard at your own problems.

You wonder why you don’t feel well, when you eat a continuous diet of junk food, work late every day, and don’t get enough sleep.

You wonder why God feels distant while your Bible gathers dust in some forgotten corner of your house, and you have not stopped to word a prayer to the Heavenly Father in weeks.

You feel isolated from others even as you roll over in bed on Sunday morning, and promise yourself NEXT week you will find a church that loves singles, and has a good Bible class.

You experience loneliness of Friday night, when a phone call to a friend earlier in the week could have meant a fun evening spent together.

    GO FOR SIMPLE. FIX THE SIMPLE STUFF. GET RIGHT WITH YOURSELF AND GET RIGHT WITH GOD. If something is still needed, then prayerfully search for the more complex solution with the help of spiritual friends. The main point, don’t make life more complicated than it has to be!

    P.S. Why not start collecting God’s wise words from the book Proverbs on notecards and putting them into practice. God’s words of straightforward simple advice will help prevent a boatload of problems to begin with, and will also tune your heart to God’s simple preventative tools to complex problems!

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Related Heartlight Resources:
The Important Things are Always Simple
Live Simply

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About the Author...
Cary Branscum, <cary@westover.org>, is the Singles minister at the Westover Hills Church of Christ in Austin, Texas. For more info, click here.

Title: "Go For The Simple!"
Author: Cary Branscum
Publication Date: January 10, 2001



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