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It's Complicated

It's Complicated

When I was around 15 and home alone, I decided to surprise my parents and get the yard mowed while they were gone. As soon as they pulled out of the driveway, I dashed out to the garden tractor and began to mow. About an hour into the job the tractor began to sputter and soon ran out of gas. This was an issue for several reasons. First, I still had another hour of mowing left to do. Second, the mower had stopped at the furthest point from the garage. And, third, I was not yet a legal driver and the gas can was empty.

Determined to complete the mowing job I decided there was a way that I could continue. The plan would be a bit complex. If I pushed the trim mower, which had a full tank of gas, out to the edge of the property where the tractor was, I could use an old garden hose to siphon the gas from the trim mower to the tank of the tractor. I had never really siphoned anything before but had seen my dad do this on several occasions. After stopping for a moment to find an old garden hose, I pushed the trim mower to the edge of our property where the thirsty garden tractor awaited. I used my shirt to clean both ends of the hose and placed the length of hose carefully into the trim mower. It looked simple enough. After some time (about 5 minutes) and a stomach full of gasoline, I had moved enough gasoline from one tank to the next to finish the yard. I burped gasoline for weeks. After fearfully telling my dad about it, I was taught that it wasn’t just sucking air out of the hose that created the siphon but gravity also played an important role. Placing the object you are siphoning to at a lower level than the object you are siphoning from became a complicated lesson that I have never forgotten.

It seems like over the next 20 or so years putting gasoline in a mower was always more difficult than I anticipated. No matter what container I would use or what mower I was pouring the fuel into, I always managed to make some kind of mess. One day about 5 years ago I purchased a new mower. As I began to add fuel for the first time, I realized the opening for the fuel was quite large. It was really large. The opening looked ridiculous! I began to pour the gasoline into the huge opening after removing the lid. I did not make any mess. When I finished, I realized that some genius had come along and solved the complicated fuel pouring issue that had been in place for years. MAKE THE HOLE BIGGER! Really...that was it! Just make the opening larger and suddenly a problem is solved.

“It’s complicated” is a phrase that we are all too familiar with these days. Relationships are complicated, jobs are complicated, cars are complicated, LIFE is complicated. As Christians we often impose the complications of life around us on our walk with Christ. We get hung up on theology, denominations, people groups, salvation, and rules. We make almost everything about our Christian walk far more complicated than it is. I am sure that in the process of complicating things for ourselves we also complicate things for non-believers. We scare them away from the simplicity of the gospel.

In Luke 10:27 Jesus states the most simple thing. “Love the Lord your God with all you are and have and love others like you love yourself.” Love God, love others! That’s it! What a great mission statement Jesus set in place. The next time someone asks you about your faith. Let’s remember how simple our faith is. The next time we get concerned with God’s will in our lives, remember the simple gospel. It’s not rocket science. It’s not complicated. In fact, the gospel is simple. Love God, Love others. That’s it!

Eric Bowman


Eric Bowman ovalEric is our associate pastor, working with outreach and youth ministry as well as adult discipleship and growth. Eric retired from a 28-year career in public education as a high school band director in 2019 and is now living his lifelong dream as a pastor. Eric and his wife, Diana, continue to live in Henry County where they have been lifetime residents. They "raised" three children and are now making their best attempt at "raising" themselves.

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