Basically, Holmes is calling out simplicity fueled by laziness or ignorance. “I don’t know because I don’t want to know.” But, he is also calling out our natural tendency to complicate things. Over time, we add rules and procedures to just about everything and eventually complicate things to the point of making them barely recognizable.
Holmes is also expressing his admiration for simplicity on the far-side of complexity. That is a simplicity informed and matured by the process of becoming less complex. This is a simplicity that once was complicated, but in the search for authenticity has deliberately become simpler.
Our worship is no different.
A person starts out on a faith journey. He starts believing his worship is what endears him to God. He reads the Bible because he has to, in order to stay in God’s good graces. He gives, witnesses, signs up for mission trips and sings every song – because he is supposed to. He prays… but only when he needs something.
Deep down his faith has become increasingly complex – a growing list of do’s and don’ts that follow him around in his spiritual appointment book.
Then, his wife gets cancer. After the first shock wears off, he is left with a complicated, yet immature, belief system. He keeps doing the same things but somehow feels betrayed by this religion he has created. He comes face to face with the fact that he doesn’t know the God he serves very well.
One day, he realizes none of the things he has been doing seem to make a difference. In desperation, he goes to the scripture in this state of mind – but not to put a check mark on his “To Do” list – this time he goes in complete humility out of hunger. “God, I need to hear from you.” He prays… but not the perfunctory prayers he has recited all of his life. Now, he pours out his soul to a Father that loves him.
He sings – not because anyone is watching or listening – but because his heart will explode if he doesn’t open up his mouth.
As the Good Shepherd carries him through the valley of the shadow of death with his wife, his faith loses its complexity.
And with this simplicity, his worship becomes real.
So, the next time a trial of hardship hits you right in the face, embrace the opportunity to simplify your faith and grow more familiar with your Shepherd as you learn the beauty of worship on the far side of complexity.
Listen to a song written about worship on the far side of complexity: “Comfort Comes”
Mike Harland is the Director of LifeWay Worship. When he’s not directing 30+ employees, you’ll find him leading worship at various churches around the country, writing/arranging worship songs and/or, writing his next book. In his spare time, he loves playing basketball and spending time with his family. Mike can be found on Twitter @MikeHarlandLW and on facebook.com/Mike.Harland.37.