1Glories

Refining Life, on Purpose

When Things Come Together, The Body is One

In the church, we come together with Christ as our head, and us as the body. We each have ordinary functions that are vital to achieving the complexity of reaching new believers and discipling them. God seeks for us to take intentional and personal action - to be a a grinder - willing to put forth the effort and work.

The value of things that come together is something Former Ford Motor Company CEO, Alan Mulally knows well. Leaving his role at Boeing and taking the Ford helm as outsider to the auto industry, he was asked why he thought he could turn the company around. He responded by saying, “An automobile has about 10,000 moving parts, right? An airplane has two million, and it has to stay up in the air.”

He no doubt knew that all the pieces had to come together.

Canadian photographer, Tod McLellan knows that as well. But his fascination of the internal mechanics of everyday objects like watches, pepper mills, and bicycles took a different approach. His photography series called Things Come Apart instead breaks things down, arranging every piece and photographing the collection of pieces in a single shot.

It celebrates old mechanical technology and gives viewers an intimate perspective of just how complex even the simplest contraptions can be. It also provides an understanding that – if just one piece malfunctions – the greater purpose might be out of reach.

When the Parts Come Together

For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. – 1 Corinthians 12:14-15

In this verse, Paul shows that a body is not simply an ordinary object. No, it’s a collection of pieces. Hands, feet, knees, elbows, hair, eyes, organs, etc. All the pieces have their specific functions. What’s more, just because the foot does not serve the same function as the hand, it doesn’t mean the foot is not part of the body.

This is true of the church we are called to be. It also applies to any team or group scenario. Yes, quarterbacks and power pitchers get the praise in football and baseball. However, the quarterback needs a defense to allow fewer points and offensive line to protect and give him time to work. The pitcher typically needs someone to score runs and a defense to scoop and throw out runners.

In the church, Christ is our head and we are the body. We all have ordinary functions that are vital to reaching new believers and discipling them. There are important roles in hospitality, communication, missions, and even janitorial work. These things are all a part of the one collective body.

Google Maps and  Ordinary Events of Life that Come Together

Have you ever used a GPS or service like Google Maps to get somewhere? Simple, right? Type in the address and follow the directions. What most don’t see or appreciate is the massive labor and skill that goes into making it look simple.

What about the indexing of roadways, the recording of speed limits, reporting of detours and landmarks? How about traffic conditions, changes in street names and accident reports? Or the satellites that had to get into orbit in space, the programming, the Wi-Fi or mobile signal to provide enough speed in communication?

It’s all extraordinary to bring to life something quite ordinary.

In the church, we come together with Christ as our head, and us as the body. We each have ordinary functions that are vital to achieving the complexity of reaching new believers and discipling them. God seeks for us to take intentional and personal action - to be a a grinder - willing to put forth the effort and work.

In the church, we come together with Christ as our head, and us as the body. We each have ordinary functions that are vital to achieving the complexity of reaching new believers and discipling them. God seeks for us to take intentional and personal action – to be a a grinder – willing to put forth the effort and work.

Come Together, Because Your Coffee Needs a Grinder

One of my favorite McLellan photos is of a classic coffee grinder. It’s partly because there was one used as a bookend for cookbooks in my childhood kitchen. But, another reason is that it shows the complexity of something so simple.

It’s more thanks a couple years and a drawer. There is a funnel to aggregate the beans. And there are mind, pegs and more. Each little piece serves an important function.

But the photo does not show the completed work. No, the grinder still needs someone to put beans in and grind it. It takes action from the body.

And such is the complexity of life, which still needs you to take action.

About Chad Gramling

Chad Gramling makes his home in Indiana with his wife and three daughters. He’s the founder and primary blogger at 1Glories, a vision cast onto his heart and detailed in Listen Up Kids: Foolish Dreams, Syncing with God & Running to Win.