The (In)Actions of One Can Impact Many

Benjamin Franklin wrote a thought provoking passage in Poor Richard’s Almanac. It goes like this. “For want (lack) of a nail a (horse) shoe was lost; for want of a shoe a horse was lost; for want of a horse a rider was lost; for want of a rider a battle was lost; for want of a battle a kingdom was lost—and all for want of a horseshoe nail”. The point of the saying is clear. The littlest things can have important consequences. Another way of looking at it is to say that what one person does or doesn’t do can make a huge difference. This is certainly true when it comes to the growth of God’s kingdom in the world. Each of us is in a totally unique position in all of history. No one else will ever again occupy the same space in the world, e.g. in our family, in our time, in our place of work, in our country, etc. Each of us is the only person that will ever be exactly where we are. So what we do in that space has important consequences. If we do or don’t do something it really matters. When Jesus talks about his followers being the leaven in the bread, he is pointing to this reality. All the “dough” where we are depends on us. The quality of the “bread” around us depends on us. We can’t ever think that we don’t matter, that we are dispensable. How sad it would be if God’s kingdom where we are is lost, so to speak, because we don’t take care of what we should be doing. We might only seem to ourselves to be a nail, but the kingdom may depend on us in ways we can’t imagine.



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