Wednesday, October 25, 2006

less is more

I believe often that less is more. And because of that, often more is less.

Statements like this tend to be reductionistic and simplistic. For example there is an important place for reading much, and many books (and blogs?), and especially reading much Scripture- even if all of that is wearying to the body (Ecclesiastes). And it is good to be able to see the big picture along with its many parts.

But the point here is, I just don't believe we "multi-task" all that well. The other evening at our home group I was playing my guitar, and leading us in singing. Someone requested a hymn. I was trying to remember the words and hit the right chords at the same time. But dropped the ball on both, the failure to grasp the words breaking my concentration on hitting the right chords. It is something like that in the point here, I'm trying to make.

I'd rather give a one page handout, getting us into Scripture with some questions to facilitate discussion, than give a handout with reams and reams of material, that likely neither they nor I am really going to "get" very well. In this case, less is more, and more is less.

We want depth. We want substance, not only style, and certainly not "fluff". But this all takes time. As we build into our lives, and into the lives of others: line upon line, precept upon precept, working goodness and truth into our lives. Little by little. Until something grows, and continues to grow out of it.

As my blogger friend, Allan Bevere reminded me, the kingdom of God as a mustard seed is important for us, in our outlook of what is truly more and great. We find God at work in the little things of our relationships and of our lives. Taking us along one step- even if small- at a time.

What are your thoughts and experience here? Do you think this is a valid maxim (or generality)? Why or why not?


L.L. Barkat said...

It's funny... sometimes I think we build these things line by line, and sometimes it seems more like a moment-by-moment filling (and I find myself empty again before I know it)... maybe, somehow, it is both.

Ted Gossard said...


I think I understand what you're getting at. It sometimes seems, in the midst of it all, that we're getting no where- or at times, even losing ground. Or, as D.L. Moody (or maybe R.A. Torrey, a friend of his) used to say, something like: We need the Spirit's filling, but this needs to be continuous- or repetitive, because we are so leaky.

It's good too that the Lord is there to help us, in directing our steps, insignificant as they may seem to be at the time.


Allan R. Bevere said...


Thanks for citation!

You're comment about the one-page handout is interesting because that is exactly what I have started doing in the Bible studies I lead. It has proven to be far more fruitful than giving the loads of information I used to typically give.

Thanks for the post.

Ted Gossard said...

Yes Allan. On my own smaller scale I have done the same. Thanks.