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Still a simple faith for a simple biker

October 29, 2016

I’ve been out on my bike this week but even though the roads have been mostly dry, and the colours bright, I’m sad. I’m sad because my current bike is dying. It will last until Spring next year but then it will need too much work doing to keep it on the road. So, I’m sad, and feeling a little guilty about it. After all there is so much real suffering in the world, and so much human loss and tragedy in the people I see around me that my petty sadness seems just self-indulgent.

Then I think some more and I realise that my sadness is real and that if I start pretending about important things like my response to the things of this world, however trivial they may seem, then I will start to lose my ability to truly feel. I will not have more emotion left for ‘real’ tragedy and loss, I will simply be hardened against it, and the real people that are suffering.

Just as I have learned not to judge how a person reacts to the good and bad in this world. I need now to learn not to judge myself either, just love. Love, true and holy and precious; love is what gets me up on a morning. Love is simple and practical. Every time I am tempted to make things complicated, and get in a mess I need to turn back to Jesus. The Church has so often made faith complicated, while Jesus made it nice and simple, simple enough even for me.

No lists of laws. Just this simple creed (Mark 12.28-31 CEV):

One of the teachers of the Law of Moses…, he asked him, “What is the most important commandment?”

Jesus answered, “The most important one says: ‘People of Israel, you have only one Lord and God. You must love him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.’ The second most important commandment says: ‘Love others as much as you love yourself.’ No other commandment is more important than these.”

Thinking about the bike, made me think about why I like it. I thought a little, not an easy thing when you’re a bear of little brain. But in the end I think it is the simplicity of it. Just me, the bike and the road. It’s hard to explain, but the world just seems a simpler place when you’re on a motorbike, and simple is good. My sadness at the ending of my current bike is my reaction to the ending of a source of simplicity and for me holiness, in a complicated and corrupted world.

Over the last week I’ve been dealing with all sorts of rules and regulations. Rules and regulations about churchyards, and faculties. It all seems so complicated, so I could have done with getting out on my bike and making the world a simple place again. I’ve also come across lots of people who seem to think that Christianity is complicated. Lots to learn, lots to believe, lots to do and lots not to do. When I listen to them I understand what they mean but totally disagree.

Me and my fellow Christians seem to have made our faith complicated; while Jesus made it nice and simple. Simple enough even for me. Jesus took pages and pages of rules, condensed down into a few words. Put even simpler, I could say that my faith demands this, “Love God, love my neighbour, and don’t forget to love myself.”

I find that clarity and simplicity on my bike, hence the sadness. After all, God’s simple wisdom is the key to all the complicated problems in life and to all the difficult theological questions.

A simple faith for a simple biker:

“Love God, love my neighbour, and don’t forget to love myself.”

All the rest is commentary.

  1. Thanks for your timely reminder Nigel, x

  2. Redenhall & Scole permalink

    Thank you Nigel for posting this. Now I know why I get so bored and sad doing data and forms. Warden job sucks but loving others is the best.


    • Hi Lucy, it is often the simple things that are the most meaningful, like the crucial but often neglected call to love others as we love ourselves. God bless, Nigel.

  3. Jean black permalink

    Hi Nigel, very thought provoking. By

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