Every time I see the mosaic sculptures at Waterfront Park in downtown San Diego, I’m impressed. By no means are they the most awe-inspiring examples of this ancient art form, but I love the intricate pop of color they provide, set against the gray buildings of downtown.
Mosaic art dates back to centuries before Christ and was often used to decorate floors, walls, and later, churches. Artists used whatever they had on hand: bits of shells, marble, pottery, glass, brick, even bits of ivory and jade. The pieces were arranged to form intricate designs and patterns, then later, people and objects.
God’s beautiful mosaic
It’s fascinating to me to think of a whole piece of art comprised of thousands of tiny components. It reminds me a lot of the kingdom of God, actually. It reminds me of the tension between the individual and the communal. Yes, Jesus died for MY sins specifically, but also for OUR sins collectively. Yes, God gifted ME with gifts and talents, but the art God is making is about so much more than just me, it’s about ALL his people. I am but a bit of broken seashell, but when I play my part in the larger whole, a beautiful picture of God’s kingdom emerges.
“Knowing your purpose and walking in it is never a matter of your worth or human qualifications, because your purpose isn’t about you. Instead, purpose is about believing in God, embracing his kingdom mission, and understanding that he can use anyone to fulfill his good purposes – even you and me.”Natasha sistrunk Robinson, from “The Sojourner’s truth”
I find it both humbling and exciting to know that God would want to use little old me in the picture of the kingdom that he is creating. And here’s the beautiful part about it (and where my analogy breaks down, haha): God isn’t gluing us down in place. There isn’t just one purpose you are meant to fulfill and then you’re done. Relieve yourself of any pressure you may feel to “find your calling” or “find your purpose.” It’s not a path you can miss. It’s not a single role for you to discover. When we are focused on kingdom building, on loving God and loving others, he will use whatever choices we make, whatever roles or jobs we take, whatever trash we carry with us, and he will use it in his grand mosaic. Because God’s story is so much bigger than our story.
In this season, I might be a corner piece. In the next season, I might be piece of sky. Later, I might be a part of a decorative edge. Don’t underestimate the infinite creativity of the God we serve. When his people are willing, God arranges us into something beautiful – millions of individual pieces working together for the whole.
The art God is making is about so much more than just me, it’s about ALL his people. I am but a bit of seashell, but when I play my part in the larger whole, a beautiful picture of God’s kingdom emerges.Tweet
Some questions to consider
How is God using you in your present season of life?
Are you so busy searching for your purpose that you’re missing what’s right in front of you?
Who are the people in your life today and how can you love them well?
How do you see God moving in the larger world around you and how can you join in that work?
May we have a soft and open heart.
May we have eyes to see what God sees.
May we respond with love, with compassion, with action.
May we lay down our pride, our agenda, our busy-ness.
May we be willing to play our part in furthering God’s kingdom in ways large and small.