We had for years a great little toaster oven that finally gave up the ghost a few months back. We bought a new appliance, but, while just fine for small baking jobs or browning cheese toast, it fell down in the toasting department. That task involved turning a dial past 10 minutes, then back to your preferred toast darkness mark; setting the oven temp at 450; and making sure a switch was set on “bake/toast” rather than "”broil.” Even after all these steps, and putting the dial where we thought we wanted it for perfect toast, the bread or bagel always came out either too light or too dark. And worst of all, it took forever to make toast, since the coils did not heat up immediately as in a conventional toaster.

We finally gave up on toasting in the thing and bought a traditional toaster. Wow! Simple. Fast. It does one thing and does it well. No menus or steps or confusing settings.

I like simple. Life is too complicated to have to fool with applicances that give you fits. I guess that’s why I don’t have a smart phone. (I saw a “For Dummies” book about the iPhone 4S in someone’s home Wednesday that was as thick as one of my Bible commentaries!)

There’s an old saw we all know called “Occam’s Razor.” It’s stated a number of ways, but the version I know is “All other things being equal, the simplest solution to a problem (or the simplest answer to a question) is likely the right one.”

In these days when faith is clouded by arguments on hot button issues, debates about standards, and on and on, I like to think that Jesus would have liked Occam’s Razor. And he would also have liked toasters. Both for their simplicity. After all, did he not sum up the gospel like this: “Love God and love your neighbor as yourself”?

What would happen if all the preachers, politicians, and pundits today remembered and practiced that simple summons?

© 2012 Tom Cheatham. All rights reserved.