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Rules too complex!


For longer than I can remember, board games and card games have been staples of Christmas gift giving and receiving, followed by hours of family time playing both new and old games together.  Of course with the new games, we have to learn the new game rules, which most of the time, we skim over and start playing, learning as we go along.  But unfortunately, that’s not happening this year!

 Two new games we got this year look pretty exciting—but both have pretty complex rules.  We tried our normal approach, skimming over the rules for a quick start—but we found out real quickly with both of these games that the rules were too complex for that kind of quick start.  So finally I had a chance pore over the rules for one of them without distractions, and would you believe, an hour and a half later, I THOUGHT I almost got it?  Who makes a game with rules that complex?  Games are supposed to be relaxing—not hard work!

 When GAMES have rules that complex, it reminds me how complex the rules of life can be.  Most of us still don’t have them all figured out, even after years of life training.  With all that complexity in life and even in games, I really thank God that Jesus immensely simplified things for the life of faith:

 36 “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 37 He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the greatest and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”    (Matt. 22: 36-40)

 Not countless steps on some ladder to success, not any lists of exceptions and special situations—just simple, straight-forward love God and love people.  Is it because we’re so used to the complexities of life’s rules that we have such a hard time accepting this simplicity, and feel the need to make things too complex? 

 Any time life’s complexities complicate your family can be a teaching opportunity for the Little Ones you influence:  point out that though things can often get complex, as followers of Jesus, our primary criteria for figuring out life comes from this passage.  Much complexity can be cut through for both adults and kids when we ask as points of decision, “How will my decision help me and others love God better, and love others better?”  Not always easy, but at least somewhat simple with this kind of question to guide our decisions.

 Praying and playing together—Rev. Jim

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