Complicating or Simplifying?
We live a busy and hectic lifestyle. As we grow up, our responsibilities increase. Our work gets busier. Our service in church gets heavier too. We just keep adding things to our lives, hoping to keep up with our way of life. No one knows how much more we could take.
We live in a trapped situation that make us think the more the better. If our children go for more courses, they would be more competent. If we work harder, we could provide better for our family and go for more holidays. If we have more activities in the church, then we would have more fellowship and church would grow faster. The list goes on. We just keep adding and keep telling ourselves that we have no choice.
Indeed, we would have no choice if we want to keep our mindset. Unless we are willing to substract some things in our lives, we would only get busier. But taking things out of our lives would require wisdom. Without wisdom, we might actually remove the wrong things. For some, they would cut their devotion time with God or going to Sunday service. That would be detrimental to our spiritual life. What we need to do is actually to consider ways to simplify our lives with the wisdom of God. I know that it is not easy to bring down our standard of living when it has been raised. But only in simplifying our lives, then we could see how luxurious our lives have been. We could have a feel of living without whatapps or smartphone games, cutting down on TV serials or music, skipping our holiday trips or additional courses, take the public transport instead of driving around, etc. There are always things we could cut down so that we could free up our time. We could then use this time to meditate on the Word of God and pray to the Lord. We could reflect on our lives and plan for our lives. We could spend quality time with our family members. We could just relax and do nothing. There is no need to always go for more.
The church has a role to play as well. Many a times, instead of helping believers to find rest in God, the church join in the rat race too. It is as though that they are trying to compete for more time from the believers and then make them even busier. Do not get me wrong, I am not against serving God. What I am saying is that the church could not just be getting believers to do things for God without letting God do things for them. There need to be proper feeding and contemplation to build the spiritual life. If we have so much output, we would be too tired to receive spiritual input from God. The church should not tired out the already worn-out generation, she needs to refresh and restore them.
Frankly speaking, this has to start from the leaders. Many leaders think that they have so much to do. They think that God has called them to do a lot of things. They even quoted from the Bible to say that Jesus lived a very busy and hectic life, so should we. Well, we could surely get very busy in ministry, as much as we want it to be. We might even feel good to be the most important person around. It is as though we are indispensable. Sometimes, there is even guilt when we take a rest or spend time with our family. But I am worried that many today are living a life busier and more hectic than Jesus. They might be more important than what Jesus meant for them to be. They have so many meetings to chair and so many assignments to complete. They might also be more tired than Jesus. Instead of helping believers to slow down their pace in the society, they ended up speeding up the believers’ pace of life because they could not even slow down theirs. Well, there are some who use the Second Coming of Christ as the reason to push the congregation. But ironically, by serving God so hard, some ended up becoming like those virgins without sufficient oil for the lamps. They would be dried up when the Bridegroom comes! It is time the church take a step back and review our existence. It is not just our lives that need simplication, the church must lead the world in this simplication process. Perhaps we are having too many structures or committees. Or we might be having too many programs or trainings. It is time to simplify so that we could be more effective and spend more time building meaningful relationship. We must be careful not to be too carried away by our goals. We should not put programs before people since the programs are meant for the people. We could not drive people to evangelise. Neither could we compel people to stay in our church. But we could build a conducive environment for people to relate and enjoy being around. We could love and encourage people to fulfill the purposes of God. All these could only take place, if we were to simplify certain things in church. Or else, we would just end up with having more blue houseflies in church-busy running around and making a lot of noises without making real impact in the kingdom of God.
Let us stop complicating our lives and our church, simplify them today.