Sometimes in life, it feels like we are all alone at the bottom of a huge mountain. The challenge that lies before us is huge, more than we can really do. And we are all alone. The situation seems overwhelmingly hopeless.
I have been reading a book called The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell. The back cover of the book explains the concept of the Tipping Point. “The Tipping Point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behaviour crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a small but precisely targeted push cause a fashion trend, the popularity of a new product, or a drop in the crime rate.”
We are used to thinking lineally-that climbing that mountain will take one step forward added to another and another and so on. But in our world, change often happens exponentially. To use a negative example, there is the saying, “the straw that broke the camel’s back.” The picture is one of a load of straw being loaded onto a camel one straw at a time. One straw doesn’t make that much difference at the beginning. But when the came is already greatly overloaded, one straw makes the difference between the camel being able to stand under the load and the camel tumbling to the ground.
As individuals, we are not isolated from those around us. What we say, think and do has a great impact on our family, friends and neighbours. And when there are a significant group of people working together in a particular direction, sometimes it only takes one more person to propel the group beyond the Tipping Point and ignite a movement that impacts a congregation, a community, a country, a continent or the world.
1977 years ago, one event became the Tipping Point for a movement that has captured the hearts of billions of people around the world over time. Momentum had slowly been building through the years. Prophets had foretold the coming of a Chosen One who would save the world. It only took one more person. But that One person was very special. Fully human, fully God, sinless in every respect, Jesus became the Tipping Point for all humanity when He willingly went to the cross to suffer and die for the sins of all people. Forgiveness, a right relationship with God and everlasting life are all yours because Jesus loves you. Everything is different now for you. Once you were condemned by your rebellion against God. Now you are forgiven and free! And from the lonely, windswept hill called Calvary, the desire to follow Jesus has spread throughout the world so that now there are countless millions of people who identify as followers of Jesus Christ.
And the Tipping Point in our relationship with God is alive and living within you. With Jesus in your heart, there is no mountain too high, no river too wide, and no valley too deep. Jesus loves you and with his guidance, encouragement and strength, you can be the one person needed to make a huge difference in this world. You and I have no idea about the magnitude of the positive impact we make on the world around us as we follow Jesus in faith. So, as Jesus himself has said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.” (John 14:1)
(This article was written for the April 2007 edition of The Binder, the monthly newsletter of Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, Swift Current SK.)