Simplify (sim-pluh-fahy)


By:  Jana Greene

It’s complicated.  But sometimes it shouldn’t be.

Last December, the Pastor at my church recommended choosing a single word to focus on for the coming year of 2012.  After much deliberation, I committed to “Simplify”, because I was making the whole process of choosing one word, well…..complicated. 

And also because I had been intrigued by a phenomenon on Facebook in which people describe “complicated” as a relationship status.  I came across this for the first time reading one of my friend’s profiles.   This young woman had chosen not to designate herself as either “single” or “married”, nor did she describe herself as “in a relationship”.  She instead chose the “it’s complicated” option.  Huh…..

I now know that this “status” has been around for years, and that my ignorance of it is further evidence that I am old and very un-hip.  Still, it made me pause and think, and choose it’s opposite – simplify – as my one word to focus on. 

Please forgive my naïveté, but when have relationships   not been “complicated”?   It seems an awfully redundant description of relational-status.  Of course they are complicated, as they consist in two complex individuals relating to each other.   (Being single has its own complications, too.  Just ask any single person.)

 It then occurred to me that this status may be a nifty way to keep your options open without being accountable.

And maybe that justification doesn’t just apply to relationship statuses.  That non-committal  stance?  It applies to so many aspects of living, and fosters the justified train of thought, “I can always change it when I figure everything out.”

Spiritually, I don’t want to be the person with complicated beliefs. 

“Well…..it’s complicated.  I believe that  God sent His only begotten Son, so I know I will go to heaven, but I really don’t want to make a commitment.   But I do….but I don’t.  You know?  All roads lead to enlightenment, right?  It’s complicated.  I believe that the Bible is the in-errant Word of God, but maybe some Bible stories are to be taken figuratively, and not literally….like Jonah and the whale, or Noah’s ark…..it’s just not that simple…..”

I don’t want my relationship status with God to be something I am content with thinking, “Well, I can always change it tomorrow”.  Do I believe or not?  What is my faith status, and what do I want it to look like?  After all, I will never, never, never “figure everything out”, understand how the cogs of complications I’ve gone through work in the overall machine of my time on earth. 

I believe.  No over-thinking, no leaving wiggle-room in my belief system.  Making my walk with Christ the simplest, least complicated relationship I have with anybody in my life. 

Simplify  (simp-pluh-fahy)  verb

Make easy, intelligible

Synonyms:  boil down, clarify, clean it up, clear up, facilitate, make plan, make clear, streamline, unscramble.

Yeah.  That kind of faith!  Unless I complicate it, it’s really not that complicated at all.

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