Granddad was Right. Less is More.


March 7, 2013 by Jay Helms

As I turned the corner, my eyes adjusted to the dimness…There it was…every kid’s dream! It must have been 5 feet high. It was full and it was all free. I was transported back in time to when I was a young boy. Naturally, I checked my surroundings to make sure it was not a mirage and I dashed over to it and began to hastily fill my pockets.

Much to my surprise, no one blew a whistle to call unsportsmanlike conduct…there was no blaring alarm triggered to humiliate me in front of the others present…no usher came to escort me from the premises…no snooty maître d’ “Ah-Hemmed” me into a life of shame…wow! I always knew Atlanta exemplified the best of southern hospitality.


I was standing directly in front of a large Lemonhead dispenser for patrons at JCT Kitchen and Bar, a hip restaurant for foodies in the heart of a revitalized portion of the city. I took at least six oversized lemonheads home with me that night. And for the record, I did ask the hostess up front if it would be alright if I took an immature number of treats with me and she invited me to take as many as I pleased.


That night I was reminded of two lessons: 1) God really is good and He does loves me and all of us and 2) Less is More.

Upon returning from the sweaty city, I did some serious Internet research centered around one vital, life transforming question, “How can I get enough of those lemonheads to fill my bathtub and go for a soak?” Aha! I found out how and ordered my own bag. They came in the mail. All was right in the world until yesterday when “The Informer” (the 10 yr old daughter my wife sends along with me when she wants a detailed report of my exact doings afterwards) proceeded to Inform the family that our soon to be 6 year old son had an illegal and hidden cache of candy in his room made up of…wait for it…Lemonheads!

The little guy was actually incensed that his stash was discovered and depleted. Now I know how Anakin Skywalker succumbed to the dark side. As I witnessed the conniption fit unfolding before my eyes, I realized I was partially responsible for the current proceedings. As I searched my mind in an attempt to discover what might arrest the sith conversion happening in our kitchen, a phrase came to mind…”Take delight in the Lord your God, and HE will give you the desires of your heart.”

It is true that the God who knows us and loves us knows a thing or two that are relevant to our ability to live a joyful life. Over the course of 5 minutes my son and I were able to have a surprisingly deep conversation around the concept of “Less is More.” Together we embraced the truth…that “More” often simply drives the appetite to greater depths and a nasty entitlement streak. And counter-intuitively, “Less” has tremendous power to drive the appetite into a state of rest for a good while.

The amazing thing about all of this is the impact it had on my emotions as well as my son’s. So, from here on out, may it be known that in a consumer culture the truth really is that “more is less” and less, more often than not, is more.

Jesus, the author of joy, said, “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even the immeasurably rich King Solomon, in all his splendor, was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:28-33 NIV)

Oh, and by the way, you can order your own bag of large lemonheads here, and then you can learn the less is more lesson firsthand. You’re welcome :).

2 thoughts on “Granddad was Right. Less is More.

  1. Mom says:

    Oh, Jay, how true. I remember when Daddy bought that great big long Cadillac with all its bells and whistles. He remarked, “Just that many more things to break and need fixing.” Bless your heart for acting on your conviction and training James through it. Love, Mom

    • Jay Helms says:

      I did not exaggerate when I used the words “incensed” and “conniption fit”. What surprised me, though was that the conversation really made a difference. I thought about the Karo Syrup and corn shucks ticks while I was writing :).

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