Nowadays it is very hip to choose a word at the beginning of a new year. It could help give you focus and direction for the year ahead. A kind of coat rack on which you can hang all your goals. To be honest, I always thought that was nonsense. Good intentions, a word… What good is that at the beginning of the new year. You can also set new goals halfway through the year. And yet this year, for the first time, I also have a real word. And strangely enough, I owe that to Johan Cruijff. 14 the musical During the Christmas holidays I went to 14 the musical about the life of Johan Cruijff with René (my husband). I’m not really into football and René is especially into Ajax, but we got the tickets and we really like the theater, so we gave it a try. Thank goodness, because it was so good. I really enjoy the talent of the actors who tell a story while singing and dancing. The musical was truly hilarious, but also surprisingly inspiring for me. The remarkable statements that Cruijff made during his life are legendary;You have to shoot otherwise you can’t score, every disadvantage has its advantage, you won’t see it until you realize it etc. Statements containing simple truths. But simplicity is not necessarily easy, because that’s what we heard several times that evening ‘simple and simple, is the most complicated thing there is’ . It made me think a lot in the days that followed. Simplicity Now I like simplicity. Of a house with not too much stuff, of an overview of my work, of writing accessible texts, of living without frills, not making things more beautiful or interesting than they are, of making choices and sticking to them and I could go on and on. . And no, that doesn’t happen automatically, but the basic principles are simple. There is one area in my life where I find simplicity really complicated and that is my faith. Last year I regularly exclaimed in frustration; why is it so complex? Why is the Bible multi-interpretable? Why isn’t everything a little clearer? Centuries of discussions about baptism. People who do not want to believe in God because of the atrocities described. The gifts of the Spirit, for everyone or not? And not to forget; the theological conversation of 2023; one can be lost forever and sent to a physical hell. Does hell actually exist? On one hand I find these kinds of conversations immensely interesting, but it can also paralyze me. Because I really want to know what is true. To be sure that I believe the right thing. But I can’t figure it out. Both sides have good arguments and I, as a simple person, simply don’t know what is true. Simply believe Fortunately, I occasionally have moments with God when He showers me with His love. Just like that when I’m walking around outside. Simple, intimate moments where I hear Him whisper that I am His daughter that He loves very much and that He is proud of me. I always have to cry and realize that that is absolutely everything I deeply need. He alone fulfills my deepest desires. He is my Truth. With Him by my side I can take on the world. I still care whether hell is there or not, but it no longer paralyzes me because I don’t need it as something to hold on to. Community I am also extremely grateful for my neighborhood community, which has also become my religious community in recent years. Sharing ordinary life in all simplicity (and sharing it) is one of the most precious gifts I have received. By the way, that is not necessarily easy either. In a small group everything stands out, you can’t hide and you have to say everything to ensure that you remain a unit. This can be quite complicated at times, but it always strengthens the bond. In the midst of all the questions, joy and sadness, they offer simple, family support. It’s hard for me to imagine life without them. My word for 2024 It will come as no surprise that ‘simplicity’ is my word for 2024. In the midst of life’s complexity, I want to strive for simplicity. In all facets of work, family and religious community. But above all in my relationship with God. Simply be in His presence. Act from His love, peace and abundance. Reading the Bible as a layman, wonderful in ordinary (simple!) language. I believe that it will help to make conscious choices during the year and not to be driven crazy by everything that comes my way. I hope my search for simplicity inspires you and I wish you a wonderful year, close to the feet of Jesus. Enjoying His presence and love for you in all simplicity.