Monday, March 24, 2014

Less Is More

I love the AT&T commercials where a grown man in suit and tie asks questions to kids, especially the one where he asks, "Which is better, more or less?" The little girl rambling on and on We Want More, We Want More definitely proves that It's Not Complicated, we really do want more. But the familiar saying Less Is More is worth discussing .

Less Is More is true in interior design, which I know absolutely nothing about.  But, luckily, I have a friend who does.  Anna Cheek, owner of Cheek Interiors, is an exceptionally talented designer, and she shared some insight about "less is more."

One of the questions I have to often answer as a designer is, “How do I decorate the bookcases?” (The infamous large built-in cabinets next to fireplaces in a living room.)  If you don’t have a plan here they quickly become a magnet for every small knick-knack you have ever collected or been given in your life. When shelves or walls, or really any surface you have in your home, becomes covered with several items it can start to feel cluttered.  You might own 25 beautiful pieces of collectible pottery, but if you place them all on one shelf, none of them becomes special. They compete with one another. If I take them all down and then carefully select 3 or 4 of them to put on display, then all of a sudden their individual details become more evident. The color is more pronounced and the shape or texture becomes the focus. When there are fewer things competing for your attention, then you can truly appreciate the beauty of the selected items on the shelf.

Anna's beautiful work
Wow.  "None of them becomes special. They compete with one another. Individual details become more evident."   What is actually special to me?  Is it my focus?

He must increase, but I must decrease.  John 3:30

If I have a relationship with Christ, what is my purpose? Who is the focus?  Is life all about me or all about Christ?  If there's so much Katy, are Christ's details (love, compassion, grace, patience, forgiveness) evident? Am I trying to show what a wonderful person I am by telling what I do, or am I showing the marvelous God I serve by telling what He does?  In other words, am I competing with God?

This is a tough verse, and I believe it's a struggle for all who wish to serve Christ.  We are important; our personalities are important. We deliver an important message according to our varied talents and abilities. God requires me to be Katy, but there's a problem when His message becomes cluttered with too much of me:  my opinion, my pride, and my desires. When it's all about me, it's less about Him. 

There's nothing like swallowing pride, is there? It's something I'm asked to do continually because my actions and words are often in His way.  After a week of the flu in February, I returned to my daily walk in the woods with my dog.  Feeling extremely weak, stressed, and emotional, I walked and talked longer than usual, desperately trying to convince God that what I was doing was for Him, but He knew it was all about me. I reminded Him of His details I was attempting to show.  He reminded me of pronounced color and textured scars I was covering up with my own agenda.

Think about Anna's words, "when there are fewer things competing for your attention, then you can truly appreciate the beauty of the selected items on the shelf."   I know we repeat this so often, but Christ truly is beautiful.   

And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, And establish the work of our hands for us; Yes, establish the work of our hands. Psalm 90:17

            It's Not Complicated, we really do want more, especially of      ourselves, but more is only better when it's Him. Less of me is More of Him, more of His beauty. Is Christ our focal point?  Are we pointing men and women to ourselves, or are we pointing them to Christ?

    I want more Christ, what about you?   

Speaking of beauty.... I haven't met anyone who doesn't think Anna is beautiful, and she reflects Christ's beauty as well.