A chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link, is an often quoted phrase which originated back in the 1700’s. It is a truism which has stood the test of time. It is one that has been marinating in my head for a while. So, of course, I had to write about it. If for no other reason than to get it off my mind.
My research took me to the local Lowe’s. Chains come in all sizes and colors. Size is not an indication of the amount of weight a chain can carry or hold. A better indication of this is if the chain has been soldered. When the links in a chain are soldered they are united/joined in a way that fuses them together without having to melt the pieces down. Next time you are picking up an item at your local hardware store check out the chains. See if you can tell which has been soldered and which has not.
An article I read recently confirmed the aforementioned thought running through my head was indeed a topic warranting putting virtual pen to virtual paper. The author describes a normal life. One of seeing to the needs of those around them and growing in their faith sans bells, whistles and megaphones announcing all they are doing and learning. The blogger wasn’t seeking to have the spot-light on them. They weren’t developing their “future ministry”. They were attempting to be present and in the moment to minister where they were.
It got me thinking.
What if a missing link weakens a chain? What if, because of the no-where-to-be-found joint, the chain itself becomes unuseful. Continuing along the twists and turns of the tracks my thoughts run on, what if the soldering of that link was incomplete? It might look sturdy, even strapping, but, when put to the test it would be found lacking, wouldn’t it?
When a link goes AWOL, its absence is noted almost immediately. Its presence is integral for the chain’s purpose and function. Each coupler supports the others. The chain is strengthened when each link is present and accounted for.
I am guessing you are getting the analogy. When we are missing in our communities, homes, work places and other spheres of influence our absence is felt. When we are seeking to develop “our” ministry, careers, etc. over being present where we are, our absence causes a ripple effect across all those spheres. Opportunities are missed to grow and develop not only personally but, to help others do the same.
I am seeking to be present. I am finding it challenging. I know what I want and how it will look when it arrives or least … I think I do. Being present allows for sweet surprises along the way. If I am AWOL, I will regret missing those serendipitous moments. Guess how I know.
How do we stay strong and present and not become the weakest link? Great question. Here’s my heart’s response: The LORD our God is One. Love the LORD your God, with all your heart, soul and mind and strength. And love your neighbor as yourself.
Join me, won’t you?