Finding the beauty in simplicity

My father immigrated to America in hopes of finding a better life for himself. When I was a young teenager, my dad loved to share the story of how he had to hold up his wooden roof during the monsoon season. Whenever I complained, my dad reminded me how good I have it.

At a press conference, NBA star Shaquille O’Neal was asked if he felt pressure being a star. He calmly replied, “I don’t believe in pressure. Pressure is when you don’t know where your next meal is going to come from.”

Having that attitude is not always easy. Many of us forfeit living today based on the false premise that life must be perfect in order to have happiness.

Our Instagram and Facebook feeds deceive us into believing that perfect people with perfect relationships exist. Out of that deception comes false expectations towards others and ourselves. Parents, friends, institutions, and churches proclaim the message that somehow our lives are less significant unless we are doing something extraordinary.

And so, we lose sight of the beauty that exists in simplicity.

Whenever I begin to think that my problems are too overwhelming, I remember that we serve a God who is bigger than my problems. Without context and understanding of the bigger picture, we’re doomed to live a life of fear and anxiety of the unknown. Instead of resting in God’s ability to work out the story of our life, we cling tightly to control.

Without perspective, we rob ourselves from enjoying life in full abundance.

The words of Jesus and the Apostle Paul are not primarily directed towards those who do miracles and wonders. They are for the everyday person living their life in relative obscurity. They are for stay-at-home moms, office workers, janitors, and police officers.

Many falsely believe their life is less significant because they are unknown. But your simple acts of faithfulness have not gone unnoticed. It’s better to be rewarded for the things done in secret faithfulness, than for the things we do for publicity.

Matt Redmond stated it beautifully: “We are not saved from mediocrity and obscurity, the ordinary and the mundane. We are saved in the midst of it. We are not redeemed from the mundane. We are redeemed from the slavery of thinking our mundane life is not enough.”

Explore breath-taking vistas and mountain ranges. Look up into the night sky and marvel at the universe. In that moment of smallness, know that God cares for you. He leaves the 99 to find the one lost and seemingly insignificant individual.


Photo (Flickr CC) by Maicon Rugeri.