Life has its complications. If you don’t believe me, wait a while and you’ll see!

The good side of complications are that they deepen us (who can understand the heart of God unless they have struggled or grieved?). But the down-side is that they can cloud our view of what is important.

Perhaps that’s why Jesus was always on the move. It’s not that he was not deep, or did not deal with complicated situations (witness the depth of his grief when Lazarus died, and the deep theological discussion with Nicodemus). It’s just that his mission and message had to be kept simple and straightforward, or it would get lost in a haze of complexity.

Perhaps this is part of what lay behind his instructions to the seventy-two, “Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.” (Luke 10:4 NIV11). “Go basic”, he says.

My son and I popped out for a pint at our local pub on Sunday evening. In the car park was the sight in the photograph above. A ‘normal’ car with a go-kart on the roof rack. Very much like our Christian lives, I thought. Most of the time we drive the car with power steering, ABS brakes, air bags, electric windows, stereo, air con and the rest. But now and again we need to get into the go-kart and strip things down to a throttle, a brake, an engine and four wheels.

That is when we experience driving at its most pure, most exhilarating and most dangerous!  There is a different joy when things are simpler. Jesus kept this joy throughout his life, and his followers felt it too, “The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” (Luke 10:17 NIV11) Of course, he had a warning for them about the source of their joy (v20), but he did not rebuke them for their joy.

Would you like more joy in your life? Perhaps it is time for a go-kart Christian day. Can you simplify your life for a day, or a week? My guess is that, if you do, the joy will return.

Malcolm Cox