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A Small Piece of String

A visitor to Niagara Falls today has it easy compared to what it was like one hundred years ago. There was no easy way to get from the American side to the Canadian side of the falls. The only practical way involved a frightening boat ride over a very dangerous stretch of river. One day someone came up with a very practical idea, "Why not build a suspension bridge across the river?"

That sounded like a good idea, but it really wasn't all that easy. The most difficult part was getting started. The canyon walls were too steep and the rapids too dangerous to get that first cable started. Finally, someone got a bright idea. They proposed a contest with a ten dollar prize to see who could be the first youngster to fly his kite across Niagara. A line could be tied to the string, a rope could be tied to the line, and a cable could be tied to the rope. That would be the way to get the first cable in place.

The critics had a good laugh when the contest was announced. How could a simple kite and kite string be used to build a great bridge? The whole idea seemed to be preposterous. In fact, it was so preposterous that it worked. A young boy named Homan Walsh flew his kite across Niagara in 1948. The simple kite string gave way to a line and to a rope, and finally the first cable was in place. Soon a great suspension bridge spanned the Niagara, a great bridge that owed its existence to a boy, a kite, and a slender piece of string.

How many of us look at our place in the church as if we it were only a piece of string. We doubt ghat we can contribute anything at all to the building up of the church. We don't see ourselves as having the great talents and abilities that are necessary to be leaders in the Lord's church. This sort of attitude cause so many to sit back and refuse to become involved in the church's ministry and mission.

In the first place, most of us have more abilities than we would imagine. Great men of God like Moses and Gideon made excuses for their lack of ability when they were called to serve God. After they hesitantly accepted the call, they found that their faith did indeed allow them to serve the Master in ways they had never dreamed possible.

But even if we're totally convinced that our talents are meager, remember that small piece of string that spanned the Niagara. Compared to the mighty cable that anchored the bridge, the string was pretty insignificant. But unless and until the string did its part, the cable was useless.

Let's all promise ourselves to serve God and His church to the best of our abilities. Those abilities are richer and more varied than many of us would admit. Until we are ready to use those abilities, then the Lord's work will not get done. If a small piece of string can bridge a mighty river, then the lives of members of the Smithville Church of Christ can bridge the chasm between God and man in our community.

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward