Saturday, June 16, 2012

999 just isn't 1,000 ... Just 1 Can Make a Big Difference

Last week I decided to tackle a 1,000 piece puzzle. Over the course of several days I chipped away at it - mostly late at night long after the wife and kids had gone to bed. Finally, late one night I could finally see the end in sight. I was tired, but I was NOT going to bed until it was done. If you've ever done a puzzle, you know the maddening, addictive feeling you get that overwhelms your tiredness. I got down to about 10 pieces left, and sure enough, one by one they fell into place. There was only one problem. Or, should I say, one piece missing. I got down on my hands and knees, scouring the floor, moving the couches, feeling under all the cushions. Nada. Frustrated, I finally had to conclude that it must have been swept up or that one of our dogs had eaten it, and I went to bed. However, the next day I found myself still clinging to the hope that I might just find it, because, when it comes to puzzles, 999 just isn't the same as 1,000. One piece really DOES make a difference. Then, about 2 days later, as I was sitting watching a basketball game I noticed something. Perhaps it was just the angle I was sitting at, but something caught my eye. Could it be? Could it really be? And, sure enough, there it was. Right where I had looked a dozen times, there was that one piece. When I put it in it's place, it made all the difference in the world.

I started thinking. When it comes to ministry, sometimes the picture we present is just somehow incomplete. When one person on our team doesn't show up, it just doesn't feel right; doesn't look right. When one person isn't doing their part, the picture doesn't look the same. God created us to work together, giving each person special gifts and talents that are meant to fit with and compliment the others on the team (See 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12, Ephesians 4). No two people are the same, just as no two puzzle pieces are the same. There are many that look an awful lot alike, but when you look closely, you discover that each and every piece has a specific place where it fits perfectly. If you try to force it into a place it doesn't belong, it throws everything off. Each person has a special, unique place in the body of Christ, and it's the job of leaders to be constantly looking for people who are disconnected and help them find their place of ministry (Ephesians 4:11-13). Oh, yeah, and sometimes we have to get down on our hands and knees to see them because they won't be where we expected to find them.

1 comment:

Kevin Senior said...

Great illustration and teaching moment, Kev!