Making Life Less Complicated

Sometimes I read too much.

As I prepared to enter motherhood, I picked up every book recommended to me on pregnancy and parenting. One particular book seemed like the perfect purchase in the book store. Each chapter featured things unique and special to that particular week of pregnancy. I got hooked into pouring over the words on the first two pages of the chapters because it gave me a glimpse at that sweet, unborn child growing inside me.

Then I kept reading. What followed the beautiful sketches of the first couple of pages were a far cry from the blissful, hope-filled words I’d just soaked in. The authors of this book decided it was a good idea to inform hormonal and increasingly paranoid mothers-to-be of every random disease that could happen in their children. Because we moms will obviously take it all in stride and not worry one bit about the 1 in a million chance that we could be somehow responsible for morphing our children into X:Men (or women).

Somewhere about a month into my pregnancy and reading of said book, my husband kindly and calmly suggested that I skip the majority of each chapter when I sat down to read the book each week.

“But I should be prepared for the worst! Ignoring the problem isn’t going to help anyone.” I stood on my soapbox, proclaiming this to him with great conviction.

Bless that man for not laughing at me or ripping the book to shreds in my face. Instead he said, “You are right, but we don’t currently have a problem. Why worry about every possible worst-case scenario? Reading these descriptions is taking away some of the joy of anticipating this child, so don’t read too much into everything by studying too much doom and gloom.

I can see a pattern in my past of when I’ve read too much, and it always turns out the same.

I read how to be a great parent and immediately start believing that I’m never going to achieve the level described in the book.

I read how to have a successful marriage, and suddenly the marriage that was going great in real life is in hypothetical turmoil in my head.

The articles I read about being prosperous make me question the success of my accomplishments.

There’s a balance in it all that I’ve come to realize exists when it comes to reading into and about life. The bottom line is, I tend to psyche myself into believing everything I’m doing is complicated.

Parenting
Marriage
Health
Housekeeping
Friendships
Ministry
Knowing God’s willIdentity

Those are all difficult things that shouldn’t be taken lightly, but I believe that I’ve been reading more into the expectations of life thus making the individual aspects more complicated all by myself.

Ecclesiastes 12:13 states everyone’s purpose in life right after giving a warning about not getting too caught up in reading tons of words from scholars,

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”

My friend, following God isn’t easy, but it’s simple.

The formulas for success are ever-changing as people gain more education and prestige. However, even Solomon, the wisest man of all, admitted that pursuing the complex and educated answers was pointless.

I’m not implying that we should remain in the dark about what’s going on in the world. Nor am I arrogantly claiming to have no need for supplemental resources that can point me in the right direction when I’m clueless. (I am becoming more choosy about those resources, however.)

Time and again when I look at crossroads in my life or the lives of the men and women mentioned in scripture, the right decision was made because we listened to the voice of God.

He has the right answer. When we remove the fear, doubt, emotions, or excuses that have convoluted our reasoning, the answer is there. Not often in a bold display, but quietly confident and waiting for us to accept it.

 

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