Often today, we value complexity. Blockbuster movies have thousands of names in the credits, develop twisting plots and subplots, and make use the most advanced cameras and special effects. Likewise the best electronic devices today are composed of billions of tiny components, constructed by a series of precise techniques, which run a whole range of programs, each written in thousands of lines of computer code. These devices seem ever more necessary in order to manage our busy schedules, keep track of long lists of contacts, and live our complicated lives.
On the other hand, God is not complex. He is not composed of many different parts, elements, or qualities, but, as He revealed to Moses, He is quite simple: “I am who am.”
In God, many things which for us are distinct, composed, and sometimes even in seeming conflict are united, one, and simple. For example, we experience time as so many moments of past, present, and future, but God knows all creation in one eternal present. Further, for us there is justice and mercy, humility and power, identity and existence, but in God these are all one: “I am who am.”
We can see something of the pure simplicity of God in the person of Jesus Christ. “Come to me all you who labor and are burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart.” The meek and humble heart is a simple heart. It does not entangle itself in the choking weeds of unnecessary complexity. The meek heart is not flustered by an assortment of overblown angers, but lives a steady life seeing all in light of God’s truth. Likewise, the humble heart is not preoccupied with unrealistic great deeds, exaggerated faults, or the opinions of others, but has peace in the truth.
Too often we live in the many imagined worlds of “What could have been?”, “What could be?”, “What should they be doing?”, and “What do people think of me?”. Instead of this complex life of imagined worlds, let us accept Christ’s invitation to learn from the simplicity of His meek and humble heart.
Photo by Lawrence Lew, Mosaic of the Sacred Heart (used with permission).