Leo’s Markers

I laughed and gently explained that it didn’t matter if they matched, they just needed to be put back in.

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Leo and Kate are really into coloring lately, which is great for them and us. It gives them a chance to express their creativity and us a chance to get things done without constant interruptions or sibling arguments. Ah, family zen.

They’re even good at clean up. Maybe too good. The other day I saw Leo struggling to line up each marker with it’s corresponding color on the box. I laughed and gently explained that it didn’t matter if they matched, they just needed to be put back in.

It got me thinking about how often we make things harder than they should be. We follow rules that aren’t really relevant. We jump through hoops because they’re there.

Maybe you got it from your parents or your culture. Or, like Leo, you just assume it needs to be done a certain way. Whatever the case, these efforts are usually well intentioned but ultimately misguided.

  • It’s the belief that your house should always look clean and put together.
  • It’s the belief that you should always look composed and on top of life.
  • It’s the belief that you should always drive the nicest vehicle you can (or can’t) afford.
  • It’s the belief that you have to climb a specific career ladder in order to be successful.

The dumbest countries, companies, and people always respond “Well, we’ve always done it that way.” If Socrates was right that “The unexamined life is not worth living”, then most of us are failing miserably.

In Jesus’ day, the religious leaders were masters of complication. They had all these rules they piled on people that made life worse, not better. They didn’t just miss the forest for the trees. They missed the forest for the leaves.

And Jesus would have none of it. He cut through all their B.S. and got straight to the heart of the matter, consistently offending those entrusted with maintaining the very broken status quo.

What if it didn’t need to be as hard as you’re making it? What if you didn’t need to do it the way everyone else does? What if you actually had more freedom than you ever imagined?

Yes, put the markers away. But don’t make it harder than it needs to be.

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Author: Dave Mierau (Meer-oh)

Christ follower, family man, lifelong learner.

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