Simply Complex

Duplo vs Technic

You may recall playing with the various types of Lego yourself. If not, you have almost certainly seen them in stores. Small children even babies—start with the simple Duplo range, made up of large simple shapes, and progress according to age and skill through increasingly complex sets. The Technic range is the highest-level, and these sets typically contain hundreds if not thousands of small and intricate pieces. The instruction booklets are an inch thick. At every level of Lego, it is essential to engage the imagination in order to get the best value from the toy. At some point, Lego creators hope that you will leave their instruction manuals aside and start to create your own models, discovering that there are so many beautiful things to make from your own imagination.

When it comes to developing your faith as a disciple of Jesus, there are several ways to proceed. These are called pathways, such as service, meditation, worship, hospitality, etc. All of these, however, have their roots in the Bible. Bible study is essential to discipleship. The difficulty for many of us is that we find the Bible hard to study. You pick it up, start to read with the best of intentions, and almost immediately find your mind wandering. You may read through entire chapters and wonder what they were all about. This is why we tend to prefer devotional books—because someone else has put in the time and effort to break the text down and provides a completed model. While those completed models are fun, being able to freestyle and create meaning for yourself is even more amazing.

This is why the Lego metaphor works so well for me. We all need to start at the Duplo level when we first begin to read the Bible. Large chunks of it. Big stories. Big ideas. Main characters. Creation. Flood. Exodus. Nativity. Resurrection. Eventually, over time we grow in our knowledge and understanding and are able to work at the Technic level. Later on, we can become truly creative and develop meaningful interpretations and insights on our own. When you read the Bible at a higher level, you notice connections. In the story of Elijah, for instance, you notice that the cave he enters to engage God is the same cave in which Moses met God. When God asks the question, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” you realize that in this case God did not call Elijah to the cave. There is something else going on.

It is important to remember that you need to keep both Duplo and Technic (and beyond) in your Bible study. These different levels of discovery will be important to you in different ways throughout your life. Finding the best method for your faith development first requires honesty. Accept and acknowledge that what you do now is not what you will do for the rest of your life. Commit to being adaptable and be willing to change as needed so that you do not get into a rut. Avoid building the same types of models all the time. Experiment and stretch and challenge yourself. You have to want to discover more about Jesus every day— and He will in turn reveal more to you about your call and purpose in life.

Look out for “Simply Complex” coming soon to unpack the Duplo/Technic metaphor as a way of looking at faith development. If you wish to be notified of the updates email us today