Tag Archives: Simplicity

The Battle Of Helm’s Deep

Church is sometimes awkward. This past weekend was the celebration of Christ the King. Our priest is really good at making things plain and simple. He said we all had to just stop and ask ourselves who or what is, or is going to be our king in the end. He said there are ultimately two questions one needs to ask in deciding who or what our king is going to be: 1) can this person or thing love me unconditionally, and 2), can this person or thing protect me? The choice is ours. That’s a complicated choice, and it’s one we often have to make more than once. I’ve made my choice, and I’ll continue to make the same choice. Jesus is my king. The reason our priest’s homily was awkward for me was that it brought something else to mind. I have to trust my king.

I have made my choice, and I will continue to make the same choice, as I said. Jesus is my king, and I trust Him. The problem is that I’m having trouble trusting the church hierarchy. He’s pointed out to me that He has allowed those in charge to have the power they have. That kind of means I have trouble trusting His patience and wisdom. I’m reminded of a scene from Lord of the Rings. It’s before the battle at Helm’s Deep. The people of Rohan are drastically outnumbered, and the king asks one of his servants, “Who am I gambling?” The servant, who is arming him for battle says, “You are our king, Sire,” To which the king responds, “And do you trust your king?” The servant says, “Your men, my Lord, will follow you to whatever end.”

Right now, I kind of feel like one of the soldiers of Rohan. I kind of feel like we’re outnumbered. In the end, Rohan won that battle, and I know we’ll win this one. I do trust my King, but I want to trust Him more. That was my awkward prayer at church yesterday. There is no other person or thing–not my parents, not my brother, and not my bird–who can love me absolutely unconditionally. Everyone has a breaking point. That’s a fact. My family can protect me from most things, but not everything; not death, and certainly not the consequences of sin. Only Jesus can do that, and I will worship only Him.

I wrote a while ago about the wedding at Cana when Mary tells the servants to do whatever Jesus tells them to. I hadn’t thought about it then, partly because it wasn’t related to the point I was making, but they do exactly what He tells them, despite the fact that it doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense. “They’re out of wine? Okay, you guys, fill those empty jars with water.” There’s no indication that the servants know what He intends to do, or even what He’s capable of. They just do it. Maybe it’s simply because they are servants and are used to just doing what they’re told, whether it makes sense or not. I think those servants are actually an excellent model for how we are supposed to relate to the Lord. Things get messed up. That’s okay. He can fix it, and He wants us to help. That’s actually pretty simple.

Despite the often strange and extreme lengths Jesus goes to to show us His love, we’re pretty slow to recognize it. When I became Christian, I didn’t have any really serious Christian friends. Luckily, when God made me, he made a stubborn woman, so I prayed. I prayed for years about this. It did take years, but now I do have faithful Catholic friends, and though it took me a little while to recognize it, I really am grateful. If we are facing the Battle of Helm’s Deep, then this is my declaration, “I will follow my King to whatever end.”

So Will I

God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. I read this tiny little thing last night, and for some reason, I just started balling my eyes out. There’s just something infinitely beautiful about it in its simplicity.

I recently discovered this song, and now I’m completely obsessed with it. I think maybe it gets at what I mean.



I wonder if anything really can be simple. You can look at a blank piece of paper and think, “Well, that’s simple,” but in thinking that you’re ignoring the process that went into making that piece of paper. First it was a tree, then it was cut down, then it was taken to a paper mill where it was cut up into perfect little pieces of paper. Something similar could be said about a puppy, for example. Sure, on the surface it’s just a cute, innocent little animal. There’s nothing else to it. But you’re ignoring the fact that, as with all living creatures, a puppy has all kinds of body parts working together and within each body part are different cells, etc that keep the animal alive. Even when you get down to something like water, it’s complicated. Water is made up of hydrogen and oxygen working perfectly together to create the see-through substance that we all need to survive.

So what is simple? Perhaps facts are simple. For example, I know for a fact that if I don’t get enough sleep I will be tired. Of course I say that and then I think, “Well, there are certain times where I get hyper even if I haven’t had enough sleep.” I do think that fact’s like 2 + 2 = 4 are both simple and true, however. The annoying thing is that there is always the question of why? We don’t need to know the answer, but the question is almost always there. I suppose the question and the answer don’t necessarily change the fact that a fact is a fact and you really don’t need to go any further. The problem is that by themselves, facts are simple, but there are so many of them that you can’t possibly keep track of them all and therefore, they are quite complicated, especially when you try and combine them.

I tend to jump right to abstract things like art or music when trying to answer this question, but behind both are theories and techniques and even sciences that complicate them very much. Another answer that I’m sure many people would jump to is love. I suppose you could argue that it is simple in that sometimes it just happens and it works out, but this is the ideal situation, and it almost never works out perfectly.

Perhaps time is the answer. All it does is go at a constant rate. No one can alter it, and no one can make it stop. It has always been there, and it always will be. It is a very significant part of the world, and yet it doesn’t care what goes on in the world because it doesn’t know what goes on in the world. It’s just there. Evidently, not even God will mess with it (not directly anyway). You hear of prayers being answered, but you never hear about time stopping. Therefore, I’d argue that time is the simplest thing in the world.