This last weekend we were at a family wedding in Dallas, staying in downtown Dallas. At a fancy hotel. At a pricey hotel. Will and I joked that they were charging us to breathe in the air. The thing is: When you pay for that kind of hotel – you expect a certain level of service, convenience and ease.
After having the valet park the car (no other choice … I felt they held my car hostage all weekend), getting our room key (I had to go through quite the rigamarole to convince the guy at the desk that I was indeed supposed to be in the room with my name on it) and getting up there to the room … I went to turn on the lights. And a curious thing happened. I couldn’t. They had 4 lamps in the room but I could only effectively use one and even that with much effort and study. In a room like this – shouldn’t the lamps work?
The other 3 were so fancy (is that the word, fancy? Bizarre? Complex?) that Will and I literally found that it was a hit and miss proposition to get them working. We looked for a an on/off switch. Nope. We tried touching the base. Nope. Screwing in the light bulb tighter. Nope. Plug and unplug. Nope. We even tried clapping though we knew that the hotel wouldn’t dare employ a ‘clapper.’
The thing is all we wanted was LIGHT! To see. I know this sounds crazy but we couldn’t figure out how to get the darn things to work. I mean we’re both college educated people. Will even has his doctorate. Still this fancy, pricey hotel had these enormously complex lamps. Go figure.
But it made me realize an important truth.
Many times, too many times: We make it really difficult for people to figure out God. We have access to the Light – but we make it so difficult for other people who don’t know. People stumble into church every week looking for a way to ‘turn on the light’ and I just wonder if — through our fancy exclusivity and our sophisticated Christian-ese — people leave thinking, “Wow, I just wanted to see. I wanted to turn on the Light but it’s so complex. Embarrassingly difficult.”
I don’t think Jesus wants it that way. Matter of fact, he used tons of really simple stories to communicate Truth. The kind of stories that make the academics cringe and feel the need to play add on.
But Jesus played it simple … maybe we should too.