Or what rubber bands taught me about theology…
So much of life seems to involve letting ourselves be stretched outside of our comfort zone so that we may grow towards living our lives fully in the Kingdom of God. This process is a lifelong process that only meets in its culmination after we fall asleep in Christ. But I think we can get way too excited too quickly and hit a breaking point, if we are not prayerful. Just ask a rubber band.
If you pull on a rubber band too hard and too quickly, it snaps. Yet a rubber band also cannot do anything without the presence of tension. Generally speaking, we anchor rubber bands somewhere and then we pull a little bit to expand it slowly. In Christ, we encounter an Incarnate God who understands the limits of our flesh. We strive to know Christ crucified, anchoring ourselves to His cross while allowing the power of God to stretch us to love everyone around us, even those who hate us.
In His mercy, Christ invites us to partake in His life of loving the world, starting first in the immediate location we find ourselves. Francis of Assisi offered this instruction “First do what is necessary, then what is possible, and before long you will be doing the impossible” which highlights beginning right where we begin. Today, 40 days after remembering Christ’s Resurrection, we remember His Ascension into Heaven where He informed the disciples that they would begin witnessing to His Resurrection in Jerusalem.
A rubber band does have its limit. But if you stretch a rubber band slowly, you can be amazed at how far it will stretch. Also if you relax a rubber band between each major stretch, then it will generally last a lot longer as a rubber band.