I over-complicate what it means to follow Jesus.
Funny, I used to think that the longer I followed Jesus the more nuanced, complex, and comprehensive my theological framework would become. In some ways that is true, but mostly it’s not. I’ve noticed something odd about this life of following Jesus: maturity sometimes looks more like simplicity than complexity.
Why am I surprised? Jesus said we must become like children.
My youngest children are not the most complex thinkers. They are whip-smart, but not complex. If I tell them to do something, they usually give me simple answers such as yes, no, or why daddy? They don’t think ten steps ahead. They do or don’t do. They don’t question my love or my motives as they calculate whether or not they can afford to do what I said. They assume those things, then respond.
When I sense my Heavenly Father telling me something, I have this weird compulsion to help him think through all the eventualities. My mind races. If I do this, they will do that, and we won’t be able to do this, and they will feel this way, and eventually check mate. I’ve talked myself out of the simplicity of following God as a trusting child.
At times I’m scared of God. Scared of what he’ll ask of me, scared of what he’ll allow in my life to test me, scared I won’t have a grandiose-enough theological answer for what I might face in life. I’ve “matured” myself into a questioning, cautionary, advisory role that God never asked for and I wasn’t designed to have. I was designed to be a son. A child. A little one.
What if next time I sensed the Father telling me to do this or that, I just said yes daddy? Has my perception of maturity kept me from enjoying the simplicity of a relationship like this?
Maybe a simple yes is the most mature response I can have. Along the way, as I’m holding his hand, I’ll ask my questions and express my fears.
But I’m determined to start with a simple yes.
Help me, dad.