My family and I are not exactly enthusiastic campers. In fact we only tolerate the experience for one week a year in order to attend a big summer festival. Each year we add a new piece of equipment in the hope that next year life might be a little more comfortable – usually because we’ve seen what other people have brought and thought ‘wouldn’t it be nice to have one of those!’
Packing up at the end of one rather wet and soggy camping trip I asked my youngest daughter what she thought we ought to add for next year. Without hesitation she replied, “A caravan!” Clearly she was fed up with making small changes to our equipment list to make life a bit more pleasant – she wanted total change.
It struck me afterwards that perhaps that’s where we go wrong in life sometimes – we’re aware that things are not all as they should be, or as we would like them to be, and so we make a series of small changes to try and improve things; whereas what we really need is some kind of complete change. I think this is what Jesus offers and why in a conversation with a friend he says, “You must be born again” – there’s certainly no bigger change than that!