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How many days a week do you feel like life is just too complicated? Even if it isn't, it doesn't take us long to make things complicated. Human beings just have this innate ability to ramp up everything to the next level.
I once tried to plan a simple barbecue party...I was going to invite two couples from church, grill hot dogs and hamburgers, and just sit around and fellowship. Sounds good, right?
Well, in one week I managed to turn two couples into 20, buy expensive steaks I couldn't afford and drive my family crazy with a list of chores I was convinced we just had to do before company came over.
Frankly, I just wanted to impress people. And because of it, I had a miserable week—and I made my family miserable too.
What's the simple solution to all of this? I believe the answer is in Luke 18:17: Whoever does not accept and receive and welcome the kingdom of God like a little child [does] shall not in any way enter it [at all].
Did you notice it says little? As children get older, even they begin to have the ability to complicate things. But when they're really little, there's just none of that.
Little children aren't complicated. They don't live their life trying to impress anyone. And they can teach us a lot about how to enjoy life.
One thing about children is they are extremely forgiving. One minute they can be fighting over a toy and the next minute they're hugging.
I can tell you that hating people is complicated and it's hard work. You can carry a grudge and be bitter, resentful, mad and offended. And every time you see "that person" you can cringe inside and you can talk about them behind their back—or you can spare yourself the trouble.
Listen, don't waste the rest of your life sulking about some unfair thing that happened to you. Get yourself off your mind…and simplify.
Another thing children do that makes their lives simple is that they so easily believe. They believe in magic and fairytales. They have no problem coming up with imaginary playmates or imagining life to be amazing and fantastic.
There's a book by John Ortberg called God Is Closer Than You Think. And in it, he writes about a little girl who said she knew Jesus was living in her heart because when she put her hand to her chest, she could feel Him walking around.
Now, we adults know she was just feeling her heartbeat. But that little childlike spirit felt God inside her! And when you think about it, she was right because a beating heart is a sign that life is in you.
As adults, we need to move into the supernatural realm and start dreaming again. We need to create joy in our own lives. It's a right and privilege we have as children of God, but it's a decision we must choose to make.
Some of us can simplify our lives very easily, even without using our imaginations.
For one thing, we can go home and clean up our rooms. Keep the stuff you use and keep the stuff you love. But give away what you're holding on to for someday because odds are when you need it, you won't remember where you put it.
Another way you can simplify your life is to practice doing one thing at a time. Multitasking may be popular, but the Bible tells us to give our mind to what we are doing (see Ecclesiastes 5:1).
Finally, you can simplify your life just by trusting that God loves you and hears your prayers. Philippians 4:6 says, Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God (NIV).
If you want something, ask Him for it. If it's right, He'll give it to you. If it's not, just know He has something better for you in mind.
It really is that simple! I encourage you to stop questioning God with your mind, and start trusting Him with your heart.
Be a little more childlike in your approach to life. Who knows…you may just feel Jesus walking around in your heart.