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The Important Things Are Always Simple
by Dennis Crawford

    One of my greatest friends in the entire world is Odis Walker. In the late 1920’s, Odis was a barefoot paperboy turned pool shark in Austin, Texas. Then he married a good woman who turned him in the right direction. He’s been a shepherd in God’s church for about 35 years and owns several tire dealerships in South Texas. My guess is he’s made a lot of money in his life—but I know he’s given most of it away in ways that glorify God.

    For my part, Odis has two irresistible traits: He loves to talk about the Word and his walk with the master—and he always buys me lunch when we eat and talk together. One day as I was eating on Odis’ tab he slipped me an article clipped from the magazine, Nation’s Business. It was a list of informal guidelines from an Army colonel to new military officers. The colonel’s first few tips gave me a chuckle.

  1. “If it’s stupid but works, it isn’t stupid.”
  2. “If your attack is going extremely well, it’s an ambush.”
  3. “Anything you do can get you shot, including doing nothing.”
  4. “If the enemy is in range, so are you.”

    I thought with a little imagination these guidelines could apply to the church and things spiritual.

    I read on—and one of his tips hit me right between the eyes. It required no imagination or creativity to see how it related to us and our service to the Father. The colonel said, “The important things are always simple; the simple things are always hard; the easy way is always mined.”

“The important things are always simple; the simple things are always hard; the easy way is always mined.”
    Just look at all the important things Jesus showed us by his example. He loved all people unconditionally. That’s simple. Doesn’t even require a high school education. But there’s nothing harder to practice. Just try it the next time you come in contact with someone who doesn’t deserve your love.

    Jesus unselfishly gave himself to other people. Gave up Heaven to come to earth. Became the servant of all as he died on the cross. “Take up your cross and follow me,” he said. He said that was one of the most important things you could do. Now that’s simple—serving others requires no complex plan. But hard? You bet.

    Now that I’ve got you started thinking, you can go on and on. Go ahead. Ransack the Bible and look for important actions and attitudes that are stressed. Note how simple they are. Then consider how difficult these simple things are.

    But while your head spins as you think of these simple, difficult things, consider the alternative. As the colonel said, “The easy way is always mined.” Jesus put it this way: “The gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction.” (Matthew 7:13,14) If we have Heaven as our goal, and Jesus is our Lord, the simple, difficult way is the only way to go.


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