Friday, January 21, 2005

How many links form a bridge?

As a registered creator of a blog, you are given the opportunity to list books, movies, and hobbies that interest you. There are numerous avenues through which a person can "advertise" their personal profile on the internet, everything from filling out your profile for an MSN Messenger account to posting your love needs on a net dating site. The interesting thing about Blogger's user profile is that once you create it, it hyperlinks all your favorite movies, books, and hobbies. When you click the link, it lists out all the other people with blogs that also listed that same item.

I went clicking through the links in my user profile and I noticed some strange patterns. First, I clicked through the link to one of my more obscure favorite books, the Prydain Chronicles. It popped up a short list of people that also listed it as one of their favorite books. One of the people that popped up was silverangel, a 16 year old girl, someone who differs from me in just about every way.

I went back to my own profile and picked a very different book, this time The Jesus I Never Knew. I looked through the list of people who also listed that book, this time coming across The Black Sheep. This guy is a lot different from me, but also much different from silverangel.

That got me thinking. Friendships are very often born out of common interests. If that is true, then I wonder how far the distance is between these two other people who share nothing else in common but me. In a way, my personality forms a sort of metaphysical bridge between two.

One can almost imagine a social event where all three of us are there. The other two meet, and my presence becomes a vital link in the chain of community, without which this other relationship would break down. Given time, these other two people might find other avenues in common and forge new links beyond the one we three share, enriching and strengthening the community.

After wondering about all these links, I was struck suddenly by how important each person's presence is in the family of God. At each moment, each of us form links to others in the community. Without our presence, the community as a whole is threatened and other relationships in it are weakened. Without our contribution of unique interests, gifts, and needs, the experience of the community is darkened. What an awesome thing that humans were designed for community, and what an adventure to see how it plays out in our lives!

1 comment:

Alien Shaman said...

Thanks Jason, that was nice to read and something to think about.