"The simpler you make things, the richer the experience becomes." - Steve House (Alpinist/Mountain Guide)
I wonder why so many times I make things so complicated, especially relationships. Don't get me wrong, I know there is nothing simplistic about people and relationships. That's not the point I'm trying to make. What I'm thinking about is my response to the complexity in relationships.
I have moments when I want to avoid people and relationships and just retreat into my introverted-self and avoid the world. However, it is inevitable I will interact with people.
Like a lot of you, I have a tendency to make the complexity of relationships well, more complex. Some ways I do this—there are times I want avoid people, and I can react negatively to people who don't agree with me. Sometimes I only want to be with people I like, and I can have a tendency to unite with people who agree with me or hold a position that I hold. When I do these things, I create a tension that complicates things and is unnecessary.
I know I am painting myself as a bad person. If you know me then you know that I am a likeable guy. Most people genuinely like being around me and enjoy my company. I am just being honest with how I sometimes approach people and relationships... Not straight forward or simple, but with layers of complexity...
And because of the comlexity of layers I bring to the people in my life and relationships I am involved with, I can miss out on the richness of the experience of being around people.
Basic definition of Simple... 1sim·ple adjective \ˈsim-pəl\ : not hard to understand or do : having few parts : not complex or fancy : not special or unusual
Three Important Relationships To Jesus...
I heard this the other day and have blogged about it in the past. Jesus had three important relationships that he invested his time and energy into—His relationship with the Father, with the disciples, and with the least and lost.
We see this all throughout the gospels. Jesus was purposeful in letting people know they were important to him. In fact, when Jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment his answer was people and relationships...
"One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:35-41)
People and relationships matter to Jesus and they should matter to me.
If I can allow my heart to be cultivated by the Holy Spirit to love Jesus and love like him; then my response to God, fellow sojouners, and people I'm not relationally connect to will be with love.
Loving people unconditionally and uninhibitedly is as simple as it gets. It doesn't mean its not hard, but it is definitely not complex. Seeing people for who they are and meeting them at the current state in life with unconditional and uninhibited love is simple. Having no unrealistic expectations or pretenses on people is liberating and fulfilling.
The simpler I approach and interact with people it is likely I will experience the richness of people and relationships.