In order for the ocean to reflect the sun a lot has to happen. Each individual drop must work with each other drop and do its part. Some drops find themselves down in the depths, holding up all the water above it. There is great significance to doing the work that nobody sees them doing. Others are right there on the surface, with the light reflecting off of them. In the end, the beauty of the ocean isn’t the ocean in itself, it’s the ocean combined with the light reflecting off of it. It’s the culmination of perfect sunlight with many individual drops working together to bring about beauty.
Jesus taught, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” [Matt 5:14-16 (ESV)].
Reflecting the glory of God is the ultimate purpose of church, and Jesus said that people will give glory to our Father in heaven when they see our good works.
I recently heard Dave Ramsey tell a story that he said Zig Ziglar used to share.
The interesting thing is that if you put two Belgian plow horses together, they can then pull 24,000 pounds. Compare that to a Ford F-350 Superduty. It can only pull 19,500 pounds. Two Belgian plow horses can do more together, even when not trained to work together, than just doubling their individual strength. They feed off one another. They encourage one another.
But if you take two Belgian plow horses and train them to work together, they can pull 32,000 pounds. You need to get into tractors, semis, and other heavy machinery to pull that much. The International CXT has the largest towing capacity of any truck at 40,000 pounds.
We, like the Belgian plow horses, can do much more together, especially trained together, than we can do apart. You, like me, are just one tiny drop, and we need more drops to come alongside us if we are going to make significant steps in bringing about God’s will.
Mother Teresa is attributed as saying, “I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.”
The idea that we each have different talents, abilities, and passions and that by using them together we can do greater things than we can do apart is the very foundation of society. We, Americans, have always struggled against working together because a frontier nature has been ingrained in us from our birth. We exalt the idea of the rugged, independent, individual. This individualism, when consistently expressed and lived out, prevents us from doing the great things that we can only do together.
Individually, we might be special and unique, but we are just a drop in the bucket. Together, we can provide life to the thirsty and reflect the glory of the Son.