“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” (Confucius)
The following is a true story from one of the spiritual publications I read daily that really reminded me of an invaluable lesson I’ve faced in life a number of times.
“Many years ago, my stepfather, a retired engineer, went out to oversee his vegetable garden. He noticed excessive puddles of water scattered throughout his yard. There had been no rain and so it seemed that an aging pipe or water main break was to blame. He estimated the route of the underground line and began digging up the lawn in hopes of finding the source of the problem. Holes turned into trenches, and his backyard soon became a mixture of dirt piles, mud, and mysterious expanding puddles of water. After fruitless hours of digging, he searched for the garden hose to clean himself off and call for backup. It was then he discovered the outdoor faucet was already turned on. Water had surged out of the mouth of the hose and had been flowing into the yard for well over a day. He had forgotten to turn it off the last time he’d watered the garden.”
How many times have I done something just like this? Countless. There was that time I was at the International World Convention for Alcoholics Anonymous in San Antonio in 2010 where I had just gone to the bathroom and was now out in a very busy hallway with thousands of other people heading to various meetings. I went to make a phone call when I suddenly realized I couldn’t find my cell phone. I frantically searched the floor around me and then retraced my steps to the bathroom, thinking maybe I had placed it on the urinal, only to discover from some very annoyed individuals attempting to relieve themselves that there was nothing sitting there in front of them. As my heart raced and raced, panic setting in, I emerged back into the crowded hallway once more and thrusted my hands in frustration into my back pockets to rest them there from swinging so wildly in the air, whereupon I discovered my phone had been with me the entire time!
Why do we make things like this so complicated? Is it our ego? Probably. I’ve definitely wasted countless bouts of energy over the years in many different projects overcomplicating things that were meant to be so simple. It’s why I tend to avoid at all costs doing any of those assemble-at-home types of furniture from places like IKEA. And dare I say how many times I’ve had incidents just like that “lost phone” occur in my life? If I only took a moment to slow down and take a deep breath when things like this happen!
You see, that’s always been my problem. Fear strikes and I react. I run headfirst into a situation trying to solve it with rash thinking, rather than slowing down, assessing the entire situation, breathing deeply, and allowing the Spirit from within to lend a hand. But, I find the more I slow down when any crisis strikes, rather than exasperate myself into anger, frustration and fear trying to solve it, the more I allow myself to breathe through the issue, and the more the solution seems to come through something very simple and usually quite painless too.
Dear God, please remind me the next time any problem strikes, to take a moment and breathe, and allow You to work from within me, so that I may see the solution with far more simplicity and far less complexity…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson