This week my son shared a simple way to remove outdoor cobwebs. Our house is built into a hill, and the basement opens under our front porch. Spiders decorate this area every Halloween, and they keep their decorations up year round.
Cleaning this area has been a nightmare. I approached it with waterproof shoes, bucket, extension pole, gloves, scrub brushes, squeegee, and hand grenades. The webs repelled my powerful water sprayer. I felt like Frodo fighting Shelob in The Lord of the Rings. I sensed spiders crawling on me for weeks afterwards.
This week I called my son to see if he wanted to do the job. Ha! He didn’t, but he offered a great tip. “Mom, use a broom.”
After making sure this wasn’t some sick Halloween joke concerning his mother, I tried it.
It worked. It worked so well I swept the bricks and windows on the ground level around my whole house without one shiver. I’ve cleaned this house the tortuous way for fifteen years.
I’ve complicated other things too, such as what it means to be a Christian disciple. In John 15 Jesus boils it down to a simple four letter word, LOVE. How did it become so complex in our minds?
Jesus says that loving Him keeps me connected to Him. Being connected makes me fruitful in life—”you will bear much fruit,” (Jn. 15:5). It gives me complete joy (Jn. 15:11). It protects me from loss (Jn. 15: 2, 5, 6). Loving Jesus gives me the grace to keep His commandments. His command is “Love each other,” (Jn. 15:12, 17). Think about it. Every biblical commandment is fulfilled through godly love (Rom. 10:13).
Francis Frangipane, a pastor and Christian author, said God took him out of the ministry for a season. Through those three years he felt called to be a pastor, but had no church. One day he repeated his constant prayer, “‘Lord, what do You want of me?’ In a sudden flash of illumination, the Lord answered. … ‘Love Me where you’re at.’ … I was a television repairman … I hated what I was doing… The Lord’s answer cut straight to my heart. I was awed at its simplicity! I asked, ‘Love You where I am at? Lord, is that all You want of me?’ To this He responded, ‘This is all I will ever require of you.’”
Frangipane said his identity changed from being a pastor to becoming a true lover of God.
We are more likely to practice the things we keep simple. Jesus has made the instruction for being His disciple simple. Love.
What aspect of your life have you complicated? How have you learned to keep it simple?
Earle Finley says
Agree heartily with your application of spiders and brooms to keeping it simple opening the pathway to God’s love I have found also that the Lord in His lovingkindness sometimes uses His saints to be the broom to sweep the spider webs out of my life to help me see God’s love for me more clearly.
Great analogy, Earle. We do need each other to know God’s love. Thanks for sharing.
Ann Musico says
Deborah – what aspect of my life HAVEN’T I complicated at one time or another??? I love your illustration with cleaning the cobwebs and I can relate to that in my own life. There have been so many small things I did the absolute most difficult and complicated way possible until someone made an innocent observation and then all of a sudden I saw how much more simple it could be. It was the same in my walk of faith. I started out making it as complicated as can be! It came from a good place – I wanted to please God. But I’ve learned exactly what you beautifully expressed – it all boils down to love. Love Him with all my heart – love myself because He made me, and love others as I love myself. He is Love – it couldn’t be more simple.