Plate Spinning

A friend related a story that will likely impact me the rest of my life.

At a time when she was juggling and stressing over too many responsibilities, God ordained that she be hear a small-town preacher:  “Do any of you remember “The Ed Sullivan Show”?  (Many did.)  “Do you remember that guy that could keep a bunch of plates spinning on sticks?  He had to run way over there, stretch back here…”

As the preacher applied the illustration, my friend immediately realized why she was in that town that day; that’s exactly what she’d been doing.  It was a turning point, and she made changes.  To this day, if she’s stressed out, someone will ask, “Are you plate-spinning again?”

After her story, another told of how this lady had helped her—and others began a walk down memory lane—how this one had helped that one.  The more I listened, the more my mind kept going back to that plate-spinner.  I finally interjected that I could not help but connect the two:  God’s design for His churches is to minister to one another.  Though some of us are quite good at plate-spinning, it’s not smart over the long haul.  Our neck hurts, our nerves are shot, and things get broken.  Even that guy on Ed Sullivan could only juggle like that for a few minutes.  We need each other; churches need to be structured to facilitate the many members to “stir up love and good works.”

Everything God does is familial.  He created the heavens and the earth to bring glory to Himself; he created husbands, wives, and families; even the animals travel in prides, packs, and schools.  He came to earth to save sinners.  His church is being built up, and His kingdom shall prevail.  Yes, everything God does is unified; communal; corporate; gathered together.

We’re not meant to go it alone.

So let’s be on the lookout.  If, as this year gets busier and busier, we find ourselves (or our neighbors) plate spinning, I’m sure it’s okay to let one fall—especially if it frees up a hand…

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