I am in the middle of making a cutting board with rough pieces of maple and walnut. It is relaxing to take something that you know was milled by hand, stored and aged in your father’s drying shed for 10 years, and try to make something with it.
At I contemplate everything that is going into it, I find myself aware of where I fit into the scheme of things. Whatever my ideas and capabilities are, the output requires maple and walnut, different kinds of glue, clamps, saws, sanders, and a bit a sweat. No matter how good or special any one item might be – everything is needed if the project is going to come together.
My reflection takes me to an old observation; “I also want you to think about how this keeps your significance from getting blown up into self-importance. For no matter how significant you are, it is only because of what you are a part of. An enormous eye or a gigantic hand wouldn’t be a body, but a monster.” (1 Corinthians 12.19)
You and I are part of a bigger story. God is involved. People are living, struggling, and celebrating. We are invited to be forces for good. As strong or as able as we might be, we are not the only piece that counts. It will take a community working together if we are to be better than we are today.
We are agents for change. The change can be good or bad, enables or a barrier. We will touch others around us. The only question is how.
Initially, the cutting board looked like it was going to end up in the scrap heap. With a bit of luck, help from others, and patience, I think there is a good chance that it will be sitting on a counter top in use soon.
You and I have our weaknesses. Sometimes it seems that we are more destructive than we are helpful. With a bit of luck, help from others, and patience, I think we can make a positive difference.