I have a question. Now, for all you male-types out there, please forgive me for asking this. I’m sure to you, it will seem like a silly question. But as I watch my son’s fascination with one particular, everyday object, I’m reminded of countless little boys and big boys I’ve known who have this same fascination. And I just have to know the answer.
What is the deal with little boys and rubber bands?
Seriously, it’s a small piece of rubber, formed into a ring. Its intended purpose is to band things securely in place. But give any little boy a rubber band, and stand back. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to determine what will happen next.
In case you don’t have one of your own (a little boy, not a rubber band,) I’ll give you the play-by-play. First, he takes the rubber band in his hands as if it were great and rare treasure. Then, he will stretch that rubber band into every possible configuration. He’ll make figure eights, ovals, squares, rectangles, even stars! Next, he will see what kinds of things he can “band”. He’ll band his foot. Then his wrist. Then the dog’s tail.
Then, when his mother tells him to leave the dog alone, he will take the rubber band and stretch it some more. Inevitably, he will decide to use it as a weapon. Less than three minutes from the time they were introduced to one another, both boy and rubber band will be zooming around the room, colliding with anyone or anything that happens to be in the way.
Hmmmm . . . have you ever really looked at a rubber band? By itself, it’s really not good for much. It is limp, dull, and lifeless. It just sits there. It has very little value if left alone. In order for a rubber band to be useful, in order for it to fulfill its intended purpose, it has to be s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d.
And interestingly enough, the rubber band is not going to stretch itself. It has be stretched by someone who sees its potential, someone who has in mind a greater purpose for that rubber band than for it to be just a limp, lifeless piece of rubber.
Have you ever noticed that people are that way? Many times, we are presented with opportunities to stretch our abilities, or our faith, or our patience. But most of us don’t like to be stretched. It’s uncomfortable, even painful at times. We like things to be easy. So, when we see a potential stretching opportunity, we often duck and hide. We make excuses. Like Moses, who tried to convince God that he wasn’t the man to lead the Jews out of Egypt, we try to convince ourselves and others that we’re not up to the task. If given the choice, we would remain unstretched.
But when you think about it, it’s good to be stretched. It makes us stronger, causes us to have more faith, causes us to be more useful. And yes, it may hurt a little.
But honestly, that’s the only way we’ll reach our full potential as human beings. If we always do the easy thing, if we always stay in our comfort zones, we will eventually find that we’ve lost our usefulness. We will become limp and lifeless, like an unstretched rubber band.
When we allow ourselves to be stretched, we will often find that we are stronger than we realized. It may cause some discomfort for a while, but at the end of it all, we will be stronger, stretch farther, and accomplish more than we ever thought possible.
And one more observation for all you female types: the more a rubber band is stretched, the skinnier it gets. Not sure if that’s relevant.
Exodus 3:11 – 12 “But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?
And God said, ‘I will be with you.’ ”
For the story of one mom who was stretched faaaaar out of her comfort zone, and snapped back to an even better place than she was pre-stretching, check out Andrea Frazer’s Happily Ticked Off.
And to stretch your mind and spirit, check out book one in the God’s Daily Word series by Jerry Stratton. Book two coming in March!
And finally, if you’re reading this in your inbox, there’s a good chance you’ve already subscribed to our newsletter. But we’re offering a sample coloring sheet from our upcoming Rabbit Doodles book on our “Free Stuff” page. If you know someone who’d enjoy a beautiful and fun coloring sheet, forward this on to them and have them sign up! And don’t forget to ask them to share with you. 🙂
FYI, the rabbits in this book are drawn from live models, from artist Elise Whittier Church’s local rabbit rescue. And in addition to a coloring book, it’s also an activity book with fun facts, puzzles, and even a “How to Draw a Rabbit” page! Happy coloring.
God bless, and have a beautiful week. 🙂
I “stole” the idea of the rubber band for part of a devotional that I gave last night. In my devo, I made the disclaimers that the allegory can only go so far as to the fact that a rubber band can be stretched to the point of breaking and God will not break us. And then I also made a comment about how the rubber band thins as it is being stretched and that’s probably not gonna happen either. 🙂 A couple ladies in the group responded. One said, ‘I’ve been thinking about the thinning and it could be that as we allow God to stretch us He thins our ‘flesh’ and more of Christ is seen in us.
In regards to the other comment, another woman responded by saying something about why rubber bands break and it being because they are sitting idle too long, getting old and brittle and how we need to keep our relationship with Christ fresh and new so that we won’t be brittle, unusable and break easily.
I thought these were great insights and that whoever wrote this article about being Stretched might appreciate seeing them.
Blessings from the Father on you and your ministry