Simplify

A few nights back, I had a pretty strange dream.  It was about two brothers and their friend.  When they were young boys, the three found themselves in a dark dungeon/maze-like place.  On the walls were many symbols, the keys to a puzzle in the middle of the room.  Upon completing the puzzle, two big doors would open to the exit, and they all would be free.  The only problem was, the puzzle was unsolvable.  There weren’t enough symbols to complete it.  The big doors would never open.  The younger brother kept trying, everything he could do.  He tried every combination, then tried again.  He tried everything in his power to open those doors, but of course, he couldn’t.  The older brother, realizing that the puzzle could never be solved, proceeded to walk up a small, barely visible staircase on the side of the wall, leading his brother and their friend to freedom.

Fast-forward about 15 years.  The two brothers are both masters of martial arts.  The younger one knows 90 different special moves, but the older brother only knows the basics.  One day, to show off, the younger brother fought his childhood friend.  The brother completely humiliated his friend, using his trick moves, smashing the friend’s face into a table and sliding it across to tear his face with splinters.  Seeing the carelessness of his brother, the older brother challenged him, and easily beat him with just two moves, forcing him to submit.  Later, the two brothers found themselves in the dungeon once again, facing the giant doors.  Once again, the younger brother tried to solve the puzzle.  He put in the symbols for sword, treasure chest and shield.  But the fourth symbol was a dragon, and there was no answer for that.  The younger brother was trapped.  The older brother, however, walked up to the doors, and found there was a small passage on the left side to get around the door.  He passed through the door, and his brother was left there, staring at the dragon, the symbol that he thought could never be beaten.

Now, I’m pretty sure I know what this dream means.  I think I knew right away, actually.  Here it is.  There are many different things to do in this world.  Some good, some bad.  Some are beneficial in certain circumstances, and some definitely aren’t.  There are so many distractions that take away time from what really matters.  So here’s the challenge: we must simplify our lives if we want to be effective.  Simple does not mean easy.  In fact, it will probably be more difficult.  The important things may seem less exciting and fun, more tedious, but they are by far the most fulfilling.  Ultimately, only the eternal things will last.  Think about these things, not the next way to get high, drunk on distraction.

There is no way to win in life without Jesus.  We must enter through the narrow gate.  We can try to “figure out” life, seeking riches, power and security, but we will ultimately be faced with the impossible task of defeating our own sin.  Only the blood of Jesus can defeat sin, and light our true path.

“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” –Ephesians 5:15-17

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