Friction: A Time for Grace

Ants working
(Sweet Crisis)

I was fascinated. Playing with my boyhood friends, we’d found hundreds of little ants scurrying on desperate missions across a growing, dusty anthill, climbing over each other, bumping into each other, facing head-on collisions, but never stopping their urgent job.

We watched, amazed, as the mound grew and the efforts of the determined little ants never slacked. Then we started a wrestling match over the anthill, because that’s what you do when you’re 7 years old.

When everyone is working on the mission, all headed the same direction with unique gifts and roles, we bump into each other. Ladies in the houseware section never bump into guys in the auto section—we bump into those who are in the same section. As we work together on the focused tasks at our hands, we’ll bump into each other. Expect it, and bring a lot of grace with you.

Movement always causes friction. Lack of movement is called inertia—nothing is happening. The instant movement starts, friction happens. We might like inertia because it’s safe—but it won’t accomplish anything. Inertia breeds death. Movement is about life. Choose life. And choose not to catch on fire when sparks from the friction hit you. Pride fires are hard to put out, and they spread easily.

Proverbs says, “Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer” (Prov. 30:25, NIV).

As we stay determined and focused on the efforts of rescuing men, we’ll bump into others, bump into our friends, bump into ourselves. Don’t be distracted by the friction.

Paul Louis Cole is president of the global men’s movement Christian Men’s Network and founding pastor of C3 Church in Dallas, Texas.

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