You know, it seems that the problems we face in our world today are getting more and more complex. Ethical dilemma’s arise daily that generations before us never had to face. The fast-paced world we live in tends to exaggerate all of our stressors. Financial pressures in a reeling economy seem to constantly eat us alive. And dysfunction in our relationships affect everything we do.
When someone offers you a simple God-focused, faith-based solution, it almost seems trite. I realize, especially as a pastor, how much people get sick of pat answers and trivial phrases, especially when it comes to the difficult problems they face each day. No one wants to hear a religious cliche at a time like that, much less some contrived spiritual-sounding sermonette that seems to have no connection to real life.
However, sometimes the more difficult our problems are, the simpler the solution is. I was reminded of that recently when I came across a story about engineers at NASA in the 1950’s and ’60’s. It seems that when NASA began the launch of astronauts into space, they found that traditional ink pens wouldn’t work at zero gravity. In order to solve the problem, they hired a consulting firm to explore their options and come up with a solution.
It took them a decade of work and more than $12 million of investment, but they were able to develop a pen that worked at zero gravity, upside down, under water, on practically any surface, including crystal. It could also write in extreme temperatures, with a range from well below freezing to over 300 degrees Celsius.
By the way, in our race to space, it was obvious that the Russians had the same problem. And what did they do to solve this complex scientific dilemma? They used a pencil!
Sometimes the simplest answers and the least difficult solutions are indeed best. Like, for instance, the simplest way to deal with the stress of family issues, your finances, your professional career, your health, and whatever else ails you. Have you considered turning it all over to God, and trusting Him with it? Seeking Him first, and letting “all these things” take care of themselves? It may sound simple, but it’s not simplistic. It’s just how God wired us, for dependence on Him. Try to do it your way, and you turn the simple trials of life into major complex pressures that are almost impossible to overcome.
So here’s a piece of advice just for you, right out of the mouth of Jesus, no less: “Have faith in God.” (Mark 11:22) It may not be the most “enlightened” wisdom you come across in our age of reason, but it’s the truth that will set you free.
I look forward to seeing you Sunday.