The unfolding of your words gives light;
it gives understanding to the simple. – Psalm 119:130
Sometimes I wonder if maybe we make life too complicated. I look around and see how so many examples of people taking something that’s essentially elegant and stress-free, then stirring in unwarranted complication.
Without doing any deep research, several examples easily come to mind.
- Education: Interference from the state was a huge contributing factor in my decision to leave the classroom. We seem to have forgotten what education is. It’s not that complicated!
- Wellness and fitness: Eat well and in moderation, exercise, manage your sleep, live in peace. Yet America spends billions on complex diets, fitness fads, infomercial driven gadgets, and more. Then – and this is a whole other column – the insurance end of health is an unnecessary nightmare.
- Religion/Faith: Jesus looked at a code-driven religion and suggested simply loving God with heart, soul, strength, and mind… and loving our neighbor the same way. Just look what we continue to do to complicate that!
- Politics: See the Jesus thing, above. Seriously, people; just be honest, put the needs of the people – The People – ahead of your own, and serve with humility. Love; serve; end of story.
- Golf: Well I had to put golf in the mix because I played again yesterday. I started out badly but everything turned around when I remembered just to enjoy the beauty around me and have fun.
There are so many more aspects of life we could talk about, but I think the point is established.
Then I love the spirit of the text I’ve quoted from the Psalms. Psalm 119 is all about scripture, and about understanding our relationship to God’s law. It’s not so much a line-by-line legal code approach but the idea of unfolding. “The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.”
Remember that Jesus said God’s word is understood completely in terms of uncompromising love, both for God and for one another.
Jesus said God’s word is understood completely in terms of uncompromising love, both for God and for one another.
Unfolding… unravelling. We tie everything up in so many complex knots. When God’s word is unfolded in Jesus we see how completely simple it is. And, really, the Psalmist reminds us, simple is the exact place where we need to engage the light.
Still learning, every day – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there's always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor's degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men's Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.