Saturday, July 08, 2006
"Elaborate Lives" is a song in Elton John's musical, Aida. Once you get over the fact that he of the huge glasses, platform shoes and fancy fedoras co-wrote this song condemning living a complex life, there is a message here.

We all lead such elaborate lives
Wild ambitions in our sights
How an affair of the heart survives
Days apart and hurried nights

Seems quite unbelievable to me
I don't want to live like that
Seems quite unbelievable to me
I don't want to love like that
I just want our time to be slower and gentler, wiser, free

We all live in extravagant times
Playing games we can't all win
Unintended emotional crimes
Take some out, take others in

I'm so tired of all we're going through
I don't want to live like that
I'm so tired of all we're going through
I don't want to love like that
I just want to be with you now and forever, peaceful, true

This may not be the moment
To tell you face to face
But I could wait forever
For the perfect time and place

We all live such elaborate lives
We don't know whose words are true
Strangers, lovers, husbands, wives
Hard to know whose loving who

Too many choices tear us apart
I don't want to live like that
Too many choices tear us apart
I don't want to love like that
I just want to touch your heart, may this confession be the start

Even though this song is set 3500 or so years ago in ancient Egypt, it sure seems applicable to us today.

I constantly see people whose lives are just too complex. Sadly, I'm no exception. Trying to do too many things just to earn a living. Dealing with dysfunctional relationships. Running here and there in search of happiness.

In just the 20 or so years that I have employed others, I have seen the average person's life become incredibly complex. Employers tend to witrness this first-hand. Very rarely does a week go by that most team members where I work do not have some reason that they have to take off during the week. I am not necessarily complaining about that. I know that people have lives outside of their jobs and I want those to be good lives. It's just that I feel badly about how difficult and complex all of our lives have gotten. Technology has forced us to expect more, and want more ... always faster ... making everything far more complex and elaborate than God has intended it to be, I believe.

God promises to provide for us but yet human nature drives us toward always gathering more. Did you know that, when squirrels gather nuts for the winter, they are able to accurately predict and gather exactly how many nuts they will need to make it through the winter -- absolutely no "extras" because they would just go to waste? Okay, I completely made that up. But, think about it ... our limited time here on earth, the fact that we are to be of God and not of ourselves, the fact that He always promises to provide ... why are we so intent on gathering so very much more than we need here on earth?

And think of the time we spend sorting out difficult relationships. God calls us to live in a community of authentic love and close relationships with those around us. If we could all do that, our lives would be so much simpler, so much less elaborate. I still have a looooong ways to go in this area but, as I strive to build relationships with others, as I strive to care about all others, my life is so much more enjoyable and meaningful. I am seeing what God calls us to. Indulging oneself in positive, Christ-centered relationships will take away the desire for all of the distracting "stuff" that in reality only serves to pull us away from Him.

True happiness -- not the fleeting and artificial kind that comes from always searching after the next brief shining moment or event, but true happiness -- comes out of not worrying about the meaningless, but instead focusing on the meaningful, and remaining ever-mindful and desiring of the complete and unending happiness that God promises to us in eternity with Him.

Our lives are indeed too elaborate. I pray that I can start following God in the simpler, more relational, and more purposeful life which he intends for us.

"Don't fuss about what's on the table at mealtimes or if the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your inner life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the ravens, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, carefree in the care of God. And you count far more." (Luke 12:22-24 MSG)

  posted at 9:31 PM  


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Todd M


An ordinary guy. A wife I love very much. A great son. Wonderful friends. A metal roofing business and a sales training business. A loving church family. A few trade associations. A Christian school. And a four-pound poodle. Just trying to follow God and see where He leads.

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