Mankind has a tendency (and an affinity) for complicating things. You don’t have to look far to find examples—they surround us. Our government, our education system…even our television channel selection and our grocery store shelves are but a few constant reminders. Satan promotes our efforts to add distractions in our lives, because more distractions means less connection to and focus on God.
I have long admired the Amish. They are sinners, imperfect and just as much in need of grace as we are. Yet, I respect the way they doggedly cling to their commitment to keep life simple. They value hard work and a conscious effort to keep distractions in their surroundings to a minimum in order to help strengthen their relationship with God.
When Christ came, he shocked the Jews because His ministry was a call to simplify—a call to reduce focus on the volumes of “rules” in the old law (which had been emphasized to the point of distraction) and to give priority to the basic principles: 1) love God; and 2) love your neighbor.
We could all benefit from some self-examination every now and then. What is your true purpose in life? Are you using the talents He blessed you with to the fullest? If not, what are the distractions keeping you from doing so, and how can you lessen or remove them as obstacles? If we each made a conscious effort to keep our distractions to a minimum, our relationship with God (see #1 above) and each other (see #2 above) are sure to improve. And that should make life…simply wonderful.
“Teacher,” he asked, “which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and the most important commandment. The second most important commandment is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ The whole Law of Moses and the teachings of the prophets depend on these two commandments.”
Matthew 22:36-40 Good News Translation