Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. But you already knew that. Here’s what you didn’t know. This is the birthday of A. A. Milne, born in 1882. The youngest of three sons, Milne taught himself to read at age two. He began writing humorous pieces as a schoolboy and continued to do so at Cambridge, where he edited the undergraduate newspaper. In 1903, he left Cambridge and went to London to continue his writing. In 1913, he married Daphne, and two years later went to France to serve in World War I.
While in the military, he wrote three plays, one of which became a hit in 1919, Mr. Pim Passes By. This provided financial security for his family. In 1920, his only son was born – Christopher Robin. In 1925, the family bought the Cotchford Farm in Sussex. A nearby forest inspired the 44-year-old author to pen two volumes for his son, When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six.
From that he gave birth to his most enduring character, one Winnie-the-Pooh. His adventures have been immortalized and repeated through the corridors of time. Winnie was my favorite character as a child. A. A. Milne brought me great joy, some forty years later, when I read his book over and over again.
I find a simple lesson from the writings of Mr. Milne. He was most profound when most simple. That’s how life usually works. It is not the complicated that gets us in trouble, but the simple. Billy Graham once mused, “There is much in the Bible that I don’t understand. But it is what I do understand that most troubles me.”
Life is meant to be simple. Obey God. Honor your spouse. Love your kids. Do what is right. Follow the Golden Rule, Great Command, and Great Commission. It’s not complicated. That’s why Jesus invited the youngest children to follow after him. Winnie-the-Pooh teaches us a most valuable lesson. Keep it simple. In the process . . . enjoy life.