I heard a riddle a few years ago and it has stuck with me all this time in my Christian walk. Goes like this: A man walks down the middle of a road. There are no lights, no moon, and he is dressed in all black. A car is driving straight at the man from the opposite direction. At the last second the car swerves and misses the man. How does that happen? I will let you think about it for a bit and give the answer later on (a juicy incentive to make sure you make it to the end of this post). One thing that God keeps reminding me is that while it takes hard work and dedication to be a Christian it is often very simple. We just make it hard.
Let’s look for example at Matthew 22:36-40. When Jesus was asked what is the greatest commandment Jesus answers “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind”. Then he said the second is like the first: “Love your neighbor as yourself”. All of the law hangs on these two commandments. Imagine if in our current government they were asked to come up with the best way to run the country. There would be congressional hearings, elections, closed door meetings, vetoes, campaigns, focus groups, special town hall meetings, twitter polls, and all of that would just be to decide which state would hold these meetings. We haven’t even gotten to actually coming up with the best way to run the country.
We already have the answer we need in Matthew 22:36-40. Can you imagine if we put first things first in our lives? Can you imagine if one day we made the important thing THE important thing? So to answer the riddle, let’s revisit it: A man walks down the middle of a road. There are no lights, no moon, and he is dressed in all black. A car is driving straight at the man from the opposite direction. At the last second the car swerves and misses the man. How does that happen? The simple answer: because it’s daylight. I have to admit I like to try to solve riddles and I do not like to be told the answer until I just can’t come up with anything plausible. When I racked my brain for 20 minutes and gave up and someone told me this answer I was angry at myself for not realizing the answer was so simple.
College taught me a lot about life. Mostly it taught me how to get ready in 3 minutes. And I lived by the creed you can always retake a class you can never retake a party. But in one of my classes I learned this Latin phrase “res ipsa loquitur” it means the thing speaks for itself. Our actions as Christians should be res ipsa loquitur. Maya Angelou once said “When someone shows you who they are, believe them”. Of course people lie, but after a time their true self comes out and when they show you believe them. Don’t over think things. When you hear arguments about how effective the President is or should we be standing for the national anthem, or women’s right to choose, or right to bear arms. Just remember to keep it simple Matthew 22: 36-40 and the answer becomes crystal clear. Some will try to cloud the facts and distract you from what the Bible says, but I believe that book has power, those words speak truth and you don’t have to defend it. “The truth is like a lion, you don’t have to defend it, you just have to let it loose and it defends itself”, St. Augustine said that.
When I was a kid they had this saying K. I. S. S. Keep It Simple Stupid. I don’t know all the rules about what names we can call people in today’s climate and my wife said I cannot call people stupid, so I changed it Keep It Simply Simple. Life is not supposed to be confusing. It will be challenging. There will be difficulties. There will be wins and losses but if you follow Matthew 22:36-40, I guarantee you the reward is simply extraordinary.