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A popular activity at leadership camps involves a giant spider web, made up of PVC pipe and bungee cords. I remember participating in the activity at a church retreat a couple of years ago. Our director gave my team these instructions:

1. Everyone on the team must pass from one side of the web to the other.

2. The maximum number of times the group may touch the web is three.

From here, we brainstormed how we could get everyone across the web without exceeding three touches. Of course, the bigger holes of the web were designated for the larger group members, while the smaller holes were designated for the smaller individuals. After spending a good half hour working our team through the web, carefully lifting the smaller persons and passing them through their web holes, slowly and mindfully stepping over and ducking under bungees to avoid disturbing the web, we finally managed to get the entire team to the other side. Did we respect the three-touch limit? I think we were close.

Photo credit: Red Lodge Ropes Course

When we were done, the director showed us the simplest strategy to succeed. Two members pull a total of three lengths of the bungee to create one large hole, which the rest of the team easily steps through. The last two, while still holding the bungees, climb through as well, never letting go.

Simple as that…

Besides teamwork and thinking outside the box, when I think back on that little adventure, I realize that in humankind’s struggle to gain knowledge and solve all of its problems, it has mostly succeeded in further complicating life unnecessarily.

Put simply, we create new problems in an attempt to solve old ones, and every time we solve one, the next becomes drastically more complicated.

We place rules and restrictions on our own lives and relationships, creating more and more complex situations for ourselves, when our sole purpose in life is to simply live. At least, that’s my conclusion after 23 and a half years of living and loving, fighting and failing, solving and succeeding, falling and flying…and the list could go on.

I’m not here to say that life isn’t difficult, full of tough situations and decisions. But my theory is that it doesn’t have to be so complicated. Those who know me well can probably agree that, like many, I’m a complex individual, hard to please, moody, critical, constantly analyzing situations. That’s why I want to encourage you to follow me on this journey as I learn how to live simply, and to simply live. You’ll get an inside look at some of my struggles, triumphs, and realizations. I also encourage your feedback, criticisms, encouragements, advice, and perhaps some shared struggles as well.

I’ll shoot for one post a week, but I think I’ll need some help from my readers. Please don’t hesitate…

Peace and Patience,

Rhyland