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Simplicity leading to diversity

When we think about simplicity, we sometimes think that will lead to sameness, conformity and boredom.  However, there are many examples where this is not the case.  For those who are mathematically minded, there is a thing called a mandelbrot set.  It is a simple equation that when solved repeatedly and put into visual form creates wonderful images.

mandelbrot 1   mandelbrot 2

In a Ted Talk, George Whiteside talked about something being simple when it is reliable, predictable and repeatable and so can be easily 'stacked'.  For example a simple transistor which is a reliable electronic switch, can be stacked together with other transistors to form integrated circuits, then computer chips, computers, and ultimately the internet.  The interesting thing is that the internet is a complex and amazing thing that is built on simplicity.

But it is also the case in the human realm.  Think about the simple idea of a family (father and mother and often children) and how that simple idea when repeated over and over leads to villages, towns, and cities of complexity, diversity (including a vast range of different sorts of families), and wonder.

I think it is also the case in God's Kingdom.  The simple idea is discipleship to Jesus Christ, but when this is repeated and passed on from person to person, great diversity and wonder can result.  Just look at the worldwide church today.  So a commitment to simple discipleship is not a commitment to sameness, uniformity or boredom.  Lets commit ourselves to repeating the simplicity of discipleship to Jesus and be open to the diversity and wonder that can emerge. 

David Wanstall, 22/07/2010