Beauty in the Simple Things

The more complicated the world gets, the more we crave simplicity. This is not naivety or ignorance, it is a surge of truth. We don't thrive when we make life complicated. We thrive when we simplify enough to leave space to notice the beauty around us.

It's Complicated

The complexity of our world exceeds our imagination. Over the past few months I've seen this while working on a huge and complicated legal case. Billions of dollars. Thousands of documents. Hundreds of hours. 

I know I'm not alone. We all get caught up in complicated work, habits, relationships, you name it. And that's just in our own lives. Multiply that by a world full of people and infinite future possibilities and you get dizzying orders of magnitude.

It's just complicated, right?

It's Simple

But why is it that sometimes everything suddenly seems simple? Maybe because it is. We can focus on one thing, for "only one thing is needed" (said the wisest man who ever lived). Then peace settles over our minds. We breathe easier. We find beauty.

Blueberries in a Bowl

This morning, after the whirlwind of my legal case had passed, I felt this transformation from the complicated to the simple. I could see beauty that had been hiding in plain sight. Even breakfast was beautiful: blueberries in a bowl. 

I think we're all craving more simplicity these days. We want the most complex things boiled down to a page, to a sentence, to a single word. That's where we'll find the most beauty, after we get to the only thing that is needed.

PS. If you want practical suggestions for simplifying, here is a good list of 10 things to do. And if you want simplicity in writing, here are 10 ideas worth considering.  

Age 30-33: The Differences Between Jesus and Me

This week I reached the ripe age of 33. It was a fine birthday, spent with family and friends and Facebook well-wishers. I even got to talk through my upcoming book, Great White Throne, with a couple writer friends.

Amidst these festivities, a bigger question has been on my mind. Tradition says a man named Jesus lived to the same age. In only three years of ministry, he left quite a mark on the world. So I figure it’s time to see how I’m measuring up to the world’s most famous person.

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Three Surprising Spiritual Truths In Stephen King’s The Stand

A few years ago, Americans were asked, “What is your favorite book of all time?” Two of the top five books include a vision of the end of the world: #1 the Bible, and #5 The Stand by Stephen King. Before reading The Stand, I would have said that’s crazy—#5? Now it kind of makes sense.

It took me a year to finish the book, and I’m glad I stuck with it. The apocalyptic novel was homework for my upcoming Great White Throne. I draw a lot from the Bible’s vision of how the world will end, as recounted in my blogs on Revelation, so I was struck by the common themes in Stephen King’s story.

Warning: a few spoilers from The Stand are below. But I bet most of you won’t mind—you’ve either already read the 500,000-word tome or you’ll just consider this a preview for the upcoming movie starring Matthew McConaughey. Three surprising spiritual truths await.

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The Amazing Amazon Algorithm

I’ll admit it, I was starting to doubt Amazon. I’d read the recent author success stories, and I’d followed their advice: write good books, publish exclusively with Amazon, and let the algorithms steer your work to readers who will love it.

Four novels in, I had quality stories and great reviews, but no breakout sales. Then, like lightning striking in the night, Amazon delivered. Over the past couple weeks, my sales have quadrupled.

This post is my best guess as to how it happened.

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