I was at the Provo temple and a man came in with a blind son clinging to his shoulder. They both looked content and it was a sweet thing to see—but that’s just it. Immediately I asked myself, “Steve, what would you pay of everything you currently possess to be able to see the light of day again? Are there any physical possessions you wouldn’t give up to see color or rainclouds or good people?” I realized then that I am walking around with all the riches of the world right here in my head.
“While some very intelligent and insightful people might believe our more complex time demands ever more complex solutions, I am far from convinced they are right. Rather, I am of the frame of mind that today’s complexity demands greater simplicity…”
– Elder L. Tom Perry (April 2014)
This post will be part of an ongoing examination of the quality or condition of simplicity. I am convinced that some of our biggest challenges in this modern era are immorality and life dilution. Regarding the latter, we chase after the wrong things, we over-complicate, and we get distracted. Life is far more simple than we are led to believe. The adversary wants us to be confused, muddled, overwhelmed, and fearful, but gospel light is pure, clean, and bright. It doesn’t resolve itself in complex, convoluted frequencies, but is calm and serene. It is simple.
I hope to continue to pare down our family’s distractions to focus on the very best and most important. I don’t want our children to think that life is a chaotic mess with thousands of concerns and matters to be addressed. A tight, simple focus on obedience and righteousness in clean, simple surroundings is a formula for peace. I believe this philosophy will simplify the challenges our kids will face and will be a reassuring force in their lives. The simpler our instruction and resolution, the clearer their choices will be. The more we panic, program, and “policize” (to coin a word), the more we inadvertently clutter their sphere of agency.
On March 1, Lily and I enjoyed a tasty meal at Dave & Cranky’s, a cool little place south of campus that’s way out of a student’s price range. Fortunately, we had a Groupon deal that brought it down into the realm of fancy-date-night possibility. We certainly weren’t disappointed! Lily got the Pan Roasted Chicken with Savory Waffles, while I had the Cut of the Day Steak with parmesan rosemary fries and garlic green beans. A little cheesecake for dessert? Yes. Yes to everything—it was all delicious.
Afterwards, we drove around and looked for homes for sale in Provo. Which are expensive. Even more expensive than Dave & Cranky’s meals! And for anyone else who’s looking at homes and habitats to purchase, here’s a tip for you: do not go look at houses in Michigan or Texas while shopping for a home in Provo, Utah. The house you can get in those two other states compared to what you can get here in Utah is enough to make you pack your wagons and head back east.
Still, wherever we end up, I’m sure glad to have Lily by my side. We’ve got a great thing going, her and I.
Jenny’s boyfriend, Jonathan, invited Dad, Kasey, and me to the BYU/Gonzaga basketball game on Thursday, February 20. I don’t attend too many games, so it was a lot of fun despite its 9:00pm start time. It certainly didn’t hurt that we upset a ranked team, either.
Lily and I took the UTA Frontrunner train up to Salt Lake on a date last night. And by the time we got up there, and took TRAX to Temple Square and City Creek, we had about 15 minutes to walk around and look at the lights. And Godiva was out of hot water for cocoa. And we had to get back or we’d miss our ride home.
So we climbed back onto TRAX and boarded the Frontrunner back to Provo. Still, we were able to sit and talk on the train, play a little Outburst, and walk hand-in-hand along the city sidewalks for a few minutes. Considering how infrequently a couple with young children gets to do such a thing, it was a wonderful evening. Now that we are a little more familiar with the system, I think Lily’s got big plans for our next trip.