Every September for years, Judy and I would make our way to the LA County Fair and walk through exhibits of craftware and prize winning animals. Mostly, we were killing time until it was appropriate to discover the year’s newest deep-fried mystery – chocolate bars, candy, jello – or the food court’s most outrageous combination – bbq’d bacon-wrapped turkey leg was this year’s winner, hands down – a solid pound or two of heart attack on a drumstick.
Eventually, however, we would find ourselves wandering the aisles of building after building, looking for the breakout product that we simply could not live without, listening to the all too convincing sales people promising the dawn of a new age in convenience and savings. I am fascinated by people who appear to believe in what they are saying and so, often, I would be drawn into the demonstration of a new knife, or chopper, or duster, or shower-head, or blender, or… Well, you get the idea. And, inevitably, just as the demo was drawing to a close came the words we were all waiting for – “But wait… there’s more!” And out would come a whole other set at no additional cost – or a spare set of blades – or a year’s subscription to a magazine full of recipes – or… Well, you get the idea.
On more than one occasion, I found myself doing the “its too good to pass up!” And so, in cupboards, on shelves, in boxes in the garage, are stockpiles of the “more” I had to wait for. I invariably discovered that the more was really less – that the promised time saved rarely balanced out the time needed to clean, adjust, replace, maintain, repair, find, and learn. The promise of simpler, faster, better is much easier than the fulfillment!
It turns out that most of life’s promised “more” is like that. The cost of the “more” over time is far greater than any benefit it brings. Time savers don’t. Space savers don’t. Efficiency tools aren’t. Shortcuts aren’t. And worse, the “more” takes! Life gets doubly complicated and crowded trying to negotiate the “more”!
Already a few weeks into this new year, it appears well on the way to being another one in which voice after voice calls out from the sidelines of our lives – “but wait, there’s more!” And not just for products and services! And into the middle of the manipulative pitch comes a still, small, voice almost whispering, barely audible through the barking – “Come unto me. I will give you… less.”
Listening to Him, watching how He lives, looking into His eyes, I am coming to believe He’s onto something. And that His less is more.