Monthly Archives: January 2013

Simple vs. Complicated

Healing Naaman and Me – Part 3

It’s a pretty well-known fact that one of the best ways to kill a good idea is to hand it off to a committee. Even if you don’t kill it, you’ll at least delay it long enough and probably change it enough that it won’t be nearly as effective as originally designed.

This is true in the government as well as in the corporate realm.

And it’s true for individuals.

We can completely complicate a simple idea by asking for input from too many people.

Or just one wrong person.

I believe obtaining wise counsel before making a major decision is absolutely biblical. I’ve made some really poor decisions that could have been avoided if I had only been humble enough to ask for honest input from a few godly friends.

But we need to be careful whose input we ask for and whose counsel we follow.

I believe the path to God and the healing we so desperately need is simple and direct. But that doesn’t necessarily equate to easy and fast. Most healing requires work, sometimes very difficult work, done repeatedly over a period of time.

In 2 Kings chapter 5, the directions the Israeli girl gave Naaman for his healing were simple. She said he should go see the prophet in Samaria.

However, the situation became complicated when Naaman followed his Master’s directions instead of the girl’s.

4 Naaman went to his master and told him what the girl from Israel had said. 5 “By all means, go,” the king of Aram replied. “I will send a letter to the king of Israel.” So Naaman left, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold and ten sets of clothing. 6 The letter that he took to the king of Israel read: “With this letter I am sending my servant Naaman to you so that you may cure him of his leprosy.”

I’m sure Naaman needed the king’s permission to travel out of the country. After all, Naaman was the head of the king’s army and the king needed to know where he could find him if he needed him.

I’m also sure the king of Aram . . . as well as Naaman . . . wanted to let the king of Israel know that this was not an attack on their nation. Because that had happened recently . . . and would soon happen again. Maybe the silver and gold and clothing were to help ease the king of Israel’s mind.

But that note!!!

The king of Aram totally ignores the prophet in Samaria that the Israeli girl told Naaman to find. Instead he tells the king of Israel that HE is responsible for the healing of Naaman.

Granted, the king of Aram is probably used to dealing with other kings . . . not lowly prophets. And possibly Naaman is too. So this is more than likely pretty typical for what Naaman does when sent on missions for his king.

So this is probably much more comfortable for Naaman than going in search of a prophet of a God he didn’t know.

That may be why Naaman went along with his king’s plan. Because it was much more comfortable than what the Israeli girl told him to do.

I don’t know about you but my comfort zone is REAL comfortable. And I like staying there. Just like I like sitting in this leather chair by my fireplace while the snow flies outside.

Why would I want to venture outside of it?

But if we always stay in our comfort zones, we never grow. We never change. We never learn.

And we never heal.

I spent decades of my life in my comfort zone. I only took jobs I knew I could perform. I didn’t try any sport that I wasn’t pretty sure I could play well the first time. I only participated in board or card games I knew I could probably win.

I only did things I could comfortably handle. I wasn’t willing to take any risks. As I look back, I can see how totally insecure I was.

And I lived my life by default. I not only made decisions based on staying in my comfort zone, I also allowed the opinions and influences of certain other people determine the life I would live.

These people didn’t want to make those decisions for me. These people didn’t even know they were making those decisions for me. I just gave up my right to make decisions for myself. I really thought I was being a good daughter, a good wife, a good employee, a good parent, a good friend.

Handing off my life choices to other people was a much easier way to live life. I didn’t have to make decisions or take responsibility for them. All I had to do was somehow determine what the important people in my life wanted me to do and do that.

And if I failed, I had others to blame.

The king’s plan probably appeared to be easier to Naaman. He could stay in his comfort zone. And if something went wrong, he could always blame it on someone else.

He would go to Israel, hand the king of Israel the letter from his master, hand him the gifts he brought with him and soon Naaman would be on his way back home—a healed man. Sounded simple enough.

However, instead of being simple, it ended up getting complicated. Real fast.

How fast?

Faster than you can say Royal Wardrobe Malfunction!

© Rhonda Fleming, 2013

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