Each day looks very different for me. Take a few weeks ago as an example.
I (just) finished 3 assignments and sat an exam for university. That took up most of my week. But I also worked in a fruit stall at my local markets. I helped lead at youth group. I caught up with my church. I worked as a dishy in a restaurant. I went for a few bike rides. I went hiking with one mate, had coffee with another friend, and saw another mate in hospital.
But it’s so easy to forget God in the chaos. With so much going on, I regularly need to be reminded and encouraged of my purpose here on earth. Each day looks vastly different, but I need the same reminder each day to keep me on track.
And I use a rubber band on my wrist as this reminder.
Rubber bands hold and contain things. Often I find rubber bands lying at the foot of letterboxes. They are most often used to hold a bunch of letters, pamphlets or magazines together until they reach the destination (letterbox).
Breaking news, I know.
However, the rubber band has almost no value. Heck, a whole bag of these rubber bands only costs a couple of dollars. Once used, they’re discarded onto the ground. Most people walk past or on them without noticing. They’re pretty insignificant.
What makes the band significant is the message it helped deliver.
We as Christians are the rubber band. Like the rubber band, we hold and contain an awesome message to tell the world. We are called to share the awesome message of complete and utter forgiveness, unfailing love and ridiculous joy through Jesus. Eternity and perfect community with him and his people.
But like the rubber band, we aren’t very valuable in ourselves. Sure, you and I are OK at some things. But we aren’t hugely significant in the global context of things. In the history of the world, our lives aren’t exactly bookmarked.
However, we take on tremendous value because of the message we carry.
‘God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them…’ – 1 Corinthians 1:28
So when others point out our flaws and failings, we can confidently agree with them. In fact we can boast in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). The creator of the universe chose us, insignificant and flawed, to contain and proclaim to the world his message of hope. His strength where we are weak – now that’s something to boast about.
All glory to him.
“I did not come with eloquence or wisdom… I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling” – Paul [1 Corinthians 2:1-3]
Paul understood being a rubber band well. He told everyone he wasn’t a crash-hot speaker. He let everyone know that he didn’t have amazing wisdom. In fact, he told the crowds that he was weak and scared.
Paul realised he wasn’t significant to the message he was giving.
All he really understood was that he had to deliver the message he possessed. Nothing would stop him. He understood the significance of what he contained, and despite knowing all his weaknesses and failings, put pride aside for its delivery. God worked through the flawed, weak, not particularly intelligent man that was Paul – and did amazing things through his life.
What a testimony.
Maybe we should take a leaf out of his booklet. Our identity with Christ and his message of hope is what gives our lives meaning beyond the grave. Nothing else. May we never lose sight of the significance to this message we contain.
I leave one challenge to all the rubber bands reading this:
In humility, stretch yourself.