I came across an old box of dominoes. Before I knew it, I found myself lining up the tiles like tiny soldiers. The line marched right to the edge of the table before curling around until the last tile faced me. I leaned over to inspect my handiwork. Too close and the pieces would tumble. Too far apart and it would suddenly end. Numerous adjustments led to a sense of satisfaction. Finally, I let my finger tap the first tile. A steady beat of clicks accompanied the toppling path through its course. The rhythm slowed slightly at curves and corners until it came to a stop.
This little recess gave me an opportunity to start thinking about the phrase, "domino effect." One thing affects another and so on.... How does this apply to faith?
Okay, picture Jesus, being questioned by the Pharisees.
"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"
Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" (Matt 22: 36-39 NIV)
Jesus counted on his disciples to keep his gospel message going. In many ways, they did. But, how am I continuing to be God's living testimony? Do I really love my neighbor as myself? How can I tell?
Let's look at the evidence. If an effective domino design is made, every piece will fall in sequence. If we think of ourselves as dominoes in God's plan, we need to be in the right place. When we follow the Holy Spirit's move, we will make a positive difference. We will be kind, respectful, and compassionate. We'll take the time to say "thank you" or simply listen. We'll give someone the benefit of the doubt before rushing in to complain. If we are selfish, we are like the domino that is too far away to make a difference. The chain reaction will stop. If we crowd someone with our convictions, we can overwhelm them. This could also end the flow.
This task to love others as ourselves seems tremendous. But, if we remember that God has created the design, then it's easier. All we have to do is follow his lead.