These are the "times of insignificance." "What are 'the times of insignificance'?" In my life time there was the feeling that "one person made a difference." Remember this statement: "for the lack of a nail, a war was lost"? A nail was lost from a horse's shoe. The horse lost the shoe and became lame. It was a chain reaction: a lost nail, a lost horseshoe, a lame horse, an essential message not delivered, a battle lost, the war shifts, and eventually the war is lost. The message: "An insignificant person is important!"

This sense of "personal importance" has seriously eroded. Horseshoes, horses, hand delivered messages, etc., belong to past, personal eras. The "now" era is impersonal. Too often commitment to employees is replaced by profits. Too often personal loyalty to a company is replaced by dollar signs and benefits. Too often "until death parts us" is replaced with "until life bores me." Too often friendship is temporary and "me centered." Too often guarantees are momentary understandings intended for now.

We are overwhelmed by a sense of personal insignificance. Often a person feels like an impersonal number in a lengthy list of impersonal numbers. Often a person feels like an expendable commodity. Often a person feels used, violated, or taken for granted. Often a person feels like a small voice in a noisy room. Thus each easily can feel a sense of utter futility because "I am just one--and what can just one do?"

God built the nation of Israel starting with just one [Abraham]. In transitioning a large family into a people, God used just one [Joseph]. When God gave this people a law, He used just one [Moses]. When God gave this people a land, He used just one [Joshua]. When God revived this nation, He used just one [David]. When God warned this nation of the consequences of their choices, He often used just one [the prophets]. When God gave the world a Savior, He used just one [Jesus]. When God informed non-Jewish people of that Savior, He sent them just one apostle [Paul]. What a collection of "just one's"! A nomad! A prisoner! A traitor! A former slave! An outcast! The unpopular! The rejected! The murderer! Who could use that bunch to change the world? God did!

Jesus described the beginning of God's kingdom as a mustard seed, a small amount of yeast, a hidden treasure, etc. God functions by using the small in unexpected ways! What God can do with just one when that one has God's values, lives by God's morality, and is dedicated to God's love, compassion, and forgiveness is incredible.

God did not say, "Change society." That is His business. God says, "Have enough faith to be My 'just one.'" Do you have the faith to be God's moral person living by God's values as God teaches you how to love, be compassionate, and forgive? Do not worry about changing society. Trust God to do that. Merely be what He desires--be a person of faith in Jesus who is God's "Just One." It is a matter of faith, not a matter of significance.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 16 February 2003

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