This is the remote for our television in 2015.
This was the remote for our television in 1978.
The top one is easy. I can sit in my chair, and with the press of a button watch something different.
The bottom one was not. If I (or anybody else, since I was the youngest) wanted to watch something else, I had to get off my ass, walk across the room, and turn a dial.
The top one has 50 buttons, 49 of which I presume are functional. One has been chewed off. Don’t ask.
The bottom one? Zero buttons.
With the top one I can choose from roughly 200 channels.
With the bottom one, I could turn a dial between 4 channels.
With the top one, I can DVR hours of programming to watch at my convenience.
With the bottom one, I could switch between Happy Days reruns and Dialing for Dollars.
With the top one, my life is easy. With the bottom one, not so much.
But here’s the thing. The top one is not simple. The bottom one is.
The top one has 50 buttons, only 7 of which I have ever used. I have never DVR’d anything, and what is not pictured are the other two remotes we have for the television and the dvd player, because the God forsaken 6-digit codes are not recognized, no matter how hard you press one of the 50 buttons provided!
The bottom one. Simple. If I wanted to watch something else, I turned the dial between 4 choices. Done.
See, simple is not always easy, and easy is not always simple.
We humans love to complicate things. 2-step process? Let’s add 4 more steps. Want proof? Go to your local hardware store and see how many warnings are on your basic step ladder.
There is a wonderful scene in the Bible in which Jesus is being challenged by some religious officials whose power is threatened by what he’s saying.
They ask him a question about paying taxes to Caesar to test his allegiance. Then they ask him a question about marriage, which reads roughly like, “One brother leaves Chicago traveling 55 miles an hour, and another brother leaves St. Louis, traveling 63 miles an hour.” Jesus answers their questions, but underneath is a tone that says, “Seriously? You’re coming to me with this?”
See, at this point in the story, Jesus has already done the following: healed a guy with Leprosy and a guy who was paralyzed, healed a guy with a demon, raised a girl from the dead, fed 5,000-9,000 people (depending on how you look at it), and healed a blind man. After all that, they’re asking him about coins and marriage.
But the answer is really the answer to the next question they ask him. They want to know which is the most important commandment, again hoping to trick him. (Their thought process was that since all of God’s law was important, if he claimed any piece was more important than another, they could get him in trouble.) But he responds with something that’s part of the Bible, but not on the list they’re talking about.
This is what he says: “‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
That’s it. Forget about your coin and trick marriage question. This is simple. It’s not complicated. Don’t add any more steps to it. That’s it. Love God. Love other people.
That’s simple. Now, remember, simple is not always easy. But don’t complicate it to try and make it easy.
Love God. Love other people. Simple.