Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away...a movie was released with Billy Crystal and Jack Palance. The movie was CITY SLICKERS. It’s worth a watch if you haven’t seen it. The basic premise it this...a middle aged guy finds himself in a mid life crisis, lost, etc. He and two buddies go West to do a dude ranch experience. He wants to rediscover himself and his buddies just want to have fun. Palance plays a grizzled old cowboy named Curley and he’s in charge of the ranch. There are funny and touching moments and Crystal’s character is terrified of Curley throughout the movie. After lots of adventure and misadventure, later in the movie, there is a crossroads moment between Crystal’s character and Curley. You see, Crystal’s character is looking for purpose in life...meaning...fulfillment and is a bit lost. He asked Curley how he can be at peace and content with his cowboy life. What was his secret? Curley held up one finger and said “One thing”. Crystal asked “What’s the one thing?”. Curley winked and said “That’s what you need to figure out.” Curley kept life simple.
In Matthew 22:34-40, Jesus did much the same when a religious leader asked “What is the greatest commandment?” It was supposed to be a complicated trick question. Only, Jesus didn’t hold up one finger. He replied with a simple answer that contained two things:
1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength.
2. Love your neighbor as yourself.
He added, “All the Law and Prophets hang on these two commandments”.
Jesus kept life and faith simple. We tend to make life and faith complicated and overlook the ordinary. We miss moments where we have an opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus because we are too busy, distracted or we just don’t want to go where God wants us to go, do what He want’s us to do or say what He wants us to say.
This Sunday, we’ll hear about Jonah and how he was a grudging participant in the works of God. His task was simple. Go. Preach. Two things. He made it difficult and ran the other way, making excuses along the way.
How often do we find ways or reasons to NOT share ourselves or our faith? We overcomplicate the process or are afraid when, really, it’s as simple as helping a neighbor with a simple task or picking up groceries for an elderly family member or neighbor. Through the day, there are many “ordinary” moments that present opportunities to share the light and love of Jesus. If you kept track, I bet you’d be surprised how many there are.
Join us this Sunday when we hear how the ordinary becomes extraordinary and truly transformational.
Keep it simple,