IT’S NOT COMPLICATED
“IF ANYONE ACKNOWLEDGES THAT JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD, GOD LIVES IN HIM AND HE IN GOD. AND SO WE KNOW AND RELY ON THE LOVE GOD HAS FOR US.”
– 1ST JOHN 4:15-16
One thing you might not know about me (even my closest friends) is that I overthink almost everything. I’m certainly not a Type A personality or a perfectionist either, but I do go over things constantly in my mind. Even with small decisions I tend to think about for probably too long. Even this blog post took me a while to write, because I was writing it in my head over and over, and each time I found problems with it. So I finally just told myself to write, and that brings us to this point now.
But, I don’t think I’m alone in that. I think most people tend to overthink at least some aspects of their lives. And while there are definitely times to stop and make the right decisions, there are also times where our overthinking causes us to think worst case scenario, and before we know it, we are panicking.
My first motorcycle was a monster. Looking back now, it wasn’t a great first bike, but it was cool. It was chopped up, customized, and one of a kind. It was also kind of a Frankenstein bike in that nothing really fit perfectly, and everything had some tweaking, and there were features that were missing, like turn signals and a well functioning kick-stand. But did I mention that it was cool?
One of the features missing from my first motorcycle was a fuel gauge. Now that I have a fuel gauge my current bike, I don’t know how I lived without one. I guess ignorance is bliss. The only gauge on the whole motorcycle was a speedometer, and I’m pretty sure that wasn’t accurate at all.
I had already had a couple mechanical issues with my motorcycle, but they were an easy fix up until this point. One afternoon, I was sitting in rush hour traffic (can’t lane split in Minnesota), and all of a sudden, I felt the engine start chugging. For about 10 seconds I began frantically looking at my engine, as if looking at it would actually do something. And then, silence. The roaring engine went silent and the dread set in that I was now stranded. Luckily I was close to home so I knew that I could have my wife come and pick me up. But what was wrong with my bike?
Being on the side of the road makes every thought seem more intense. Immediately, my mind went worse case scenario. “I have an oil leak and my engine completely seized up” or “I have a cracked header”. I was overthinking the problem. I knew even while I was thinking it that I didn’t have an engine leak…well not a big one at least, after all, it was a Harley. And I knew the sound wasn’t the sound of any internal engine failure.
“Wait, when did I last put fuel in my bike?”
I quickly unscrewed my gas tank cap, and sure enough, bone dry. If you ever want to feel dumber than a box of rocks, run out of fuel. My wife brought my fuel can to me, and before long, the bike started back up.
A lot of times, we tend to overthink the Christian life too. How many times do we dwell on past sins? How much time do we wasted remembering all the times we come up short? How hard do we try to fix our own problems before we seek forgiveness from God? Following Christ isn’t complicated, we just make it that way.
1st John says “If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us”
Notice how it doesn’t say you need to fix yourself, or you need to try harder, or you need to act a certain way AND THEN God will love you? Which, by the way, God loves you no matter what. The verse says “acknowledge”. That’s it. We don’t have to have to have all of our problems together, all we have to do is say “I believe that Jesus is the Son of God”.
Don’t make things more complicated than they need to be. This world is full of complications, traps, and dead ends all meant to trip us up. Whenever you are feeling overwhelmed, know that there is a Heavenly Father waiting to have a relationship with you. All you have to do is ask.
Here’s the conundrum…my wife is two weeks from her due date, and I was on call this weekend with my regular job, BUT, it was also one of the best days this summer had produced. Mid 70’s, bright blue sky, and Rage KaGe ready to put some miles on. What’s a boy to do. Compromise, that’s what you do.
Before I had even ridden a motorcycle, I knew that I liked them. I liked how they looked, I liked how they sounded, and I liked the idea of them. I read about motorcycles, and I talked to people about them…I had a pretty good understanding of everything pertaining to the entire motorcycle industry.
My first motorcycle was a beast. It was loud, it was fast, and it was a hack job. I think I fixed it more than I rode it. The speedometer didn’t work, the brake light didn’t work, not to mention you had to take half the bike apart to reach the battery and other vital components of a motorcycle.