Just when you think life can't get more complicated, it does. Personally, I work very hard trying to keep my life as simple as possible. And I must say I do not get very much help on this part, especially from the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. Her idea of keeping it simple is not telling me everything.
This past week I think she went a little too far.
It was Saturday night and I was preparing for my weekly bath. I had assembled all the necessary equipment: my rubber ducky, my reading glasses and the book I was reading at the time. There is nothing more relaxing to me than a hot bubbly bath with a good book.
Eventually, I put my book up and began the ritual of taking a bath. I reached for the bar of soap and it felt a little different then I had remembered from the week before. It felt as though it had been rolled in gravelly dirt.
Wanting to know what the problem was, I called to my wife.
"What's wrong with the soap?"
She then came into the bathroom and said, "There's nothing wrong with the soap."
"But it feels different," I complained.
"That's because it's oatmeal soap," she explained.
"Oatmeal soap? What do you mean, oatmeal soap?"
"It's a new soap I found at the Bath and Body store. It's something new. It's good for you, use it."
I immediately began to search my mind (I almost got lost in the process) for information concerning oatmeal. I knew, for example, that oatmeal was a food. I like a bowl of hot oatmeal in the morning with sliced bananas. And oatmeal raisin cookies go perfect with a nice hot cup of coffee. However, I could not find any information in my brain collaborating the fact that you can wash with oatmeal.
I looked at the bar of oatmeal soap and did not know if I should wash with it or eat it. And, where do you put the sliced bananas?
To make matters worse, if that could be possible, I discovered in the bathtub a new bottle of shampoo. It was called Sweet Apple Shampoo. There is nothing like a fruity-tooty bubble bath to bring out the manly spirit in a person.
I did not know if I should dry off and be put into the refrigerator.
This incident only illustrated to me the fact that we live in a very complicated world. Somebody comes up with some simple idea that is a good idea. However, the real money goes to the person who can take that simple idea and complicate it beyond all recognition.
"There ain't nothing simple anymore," my grandfather used to say. And he's been dead for 30 years. What would he say today?
For example, take your common everyday telephone. The telephone is no longer a phone but rather a full communication system. You can do everything on your cell phone.
I tried to buy a new cell phone recently and found it rather difficult. The salesperson was telling me all of the features of this new cell phone.
"All I want is to be able to phone my wife when I'm away from the house."
The salesperson didn't seem to get that fact into his head. For some reason he seemed to think I was so important I needed all of the features of the latest cell phone.
Do you know I could not find a cell phone that just was a phone.
I remember the days when the telephone was a party system. What parties we used to have. Each person on that party phone line had a certain ring. I still remember ours. It was two rings. Of course, whenever the phone rang everybody on the party line knew who was getting a call and felt complete liberty in joining in.
Not just telephones but also everything else has been complicated for us. A watch is no longer a watch, but rather a timepiece that does everything but tell time. I saw one that was also a cell phone.
Now, I need a cell phone to find out what time it is and I need a watch to make a phone call. While I'm on the subject, try to find a phone booth in the neighborhood. The absence of the neighborhood phone booth may explain the rise in crime. Where in the world does Clark Kent change into his Superman suit?
Then there is coffee. On a recent trip, I had to use the services of our friendly airline service, which necessitated spending time in airports, which is as close to purgatory as a person can get without dying. I tried to find a plain cup of coffee. Everywhere I went they had everything but plain coffee. The coffee had been flavored with everything from vanilla to pineapples and a few ingredients I could not pronounce.
No wonder so many elderly people go senile. It's the only sane thing to do in such a complicated world.
Where, oh where have the simple things in life gone?
Only one place remains simple for me. That is the Bible. It is not hard understanding what Jesus meant. "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6 (KJV).
As far as I'm concerned, nothing is complicated about trusting Jesus.
James L. Snyder is an award winning author and popular columnist living with his wife, Martha, in Ocala, Florida and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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