From my weekly article at Worldmag.com:
|photo credit: image munky via photopin cc|
So many of the lessons we learn and the tasks we attempt in life are seemingly simple. Losing weight is just a matter of burning more calories than we consume. Being punctual simply requires us to leave a bit earlier. Christianity is just being like Jesus. If the incongruity in these statements hasn’t become clear yet, let me try these examples: All it takes to be a tightrope walker is to stroll a length of wire and all it takes to win a football game is to push an oblong object across a line more times than the opposition. Simple, right?
Yes, the goal in all these examples is simple, at least as stated. But this is a false simplicity, one that fails to acknowledge the underlying complexities, obstacles, challenges, motivations, and personalities that are in play. The formula for losing weight may be simple but doing so can be tremendously difficult. And “live like Jesus” is an easy enough explanation of Christianity, too, but it is no easy mission.
To label something in “simple” terms often leads people to believe that doing it is easy, which is just a set-up for disappointment, frustration, and even despair.
. . .