About a year ago, I walked through a parking lot to go home. My truck has a keypad on the door and I’ve always liked the feature … until that day. I couldn’t remember the five-digit code to unlock the door.
Several codes for banks and emails came to mind, but not the one I needed. No big problem, however … sometimes we can fight fire with fire … so out with another piece of technology. I called my wife on my cellphone and she provided me with the code which has been etched (hopefully, indelibly) on my mind ever since.
The experience left me thinking that for most of us, life is becoming increasingly complex, if not outright cluttered. And as much as I enjoy new gadgets and toys, I’d really like to keep the mainstream of my life uncomplicated … and particularly so with my faith.
It would be nice to be able to have a simplistic approach like that of race-car driver Bill Vukovich. He had the distinction of winning the Indianapolis 500 in both 1953 and 1954. In an interview, he was asked if there was a secret to his consecutive success at Indianapolis. He explained that there is no secret and that the matter is really quite simple.
He said, “I just press the accelerator to the floor and steer to the left.” Obviously, the Vukovich approach would not work well on our highways, but his simplicity is admirable.
The apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian church, encouraging them to remain singular in their focus. He said, “I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3).
He is not suggesting that believers be simpleminded; he is talking about a single-mindedness of faith, focus and loyalty.
A.W. Tozer (1897-1963) was concerned that Christians might be losing sight of the Lord by adopting a bells-and-whistles approach to church. Quoting from the same verse, he said, “The simplicity, which is in Christ, is rarely found among us. In its stead are programs, methods, organizations, and a world of nervous activities, which occupy time and attention, but can never satisfy the longing of the heart. The shallowness of our inner experience, the hollowness of our worship, and that servile imitation of the world which marks our promotional methods all testify that we, in this day, know God only imperfectly, and the peace of God scarcely, at all.”
In the midst of all of the complexity of these days … don’t forget your code!
“The main thing about being a Christian is to see that the main thing remains the main thing.” Ray Steadman
Pastor Ross Helgeton is senior pastor at Erskine Evangelical Free Church.