While washing my dishes recently, I noticed three chopsticks sticking out conspicuously amongst the other tools in my utensil caddy. Why do I have just 3 chopsticks?, I wondered. What am I supposed to do with that? A pair, and a spare? Where is the 4th stick?
I thought of the joke that Jerry Seinfeld used to tell about chopsticks and the people that use them. He would say, “They’ve seen the fork, but they’re staying with the sticks”. It’s a great joke, but I’d like to come to the defense of this ancient and often scorned utensil.
Consider this: The graceful motion of two slender chopsticks picking up one morsel of food at a time can be quite elegant. Eating this way slows everything down, aids our digestion, and enhances conversation around the table. Acting as an extension of our fingers, eating becomes more deliberate as we choose each bite, somehow increasing our appreciation of the meal. On the contrary, stabbing our food with a fork seems so barbaric, doesn’t it? And the way some people scoop up their food using a spoon like it’s a shovel is quite unbecoming.
As with everything, there are exceptions. For instance, if a person is using chopsticks to slurp noodles from a bowl, although common, it is an audio/visual assault and possibly hazardous to those sitting nearby. In addition, I don’t recommend eating Jell-O with chopsticks. I’ve tried that and it didn’t end well. Of course, I’m just having fun with all this. Thank you for indulging me. Now here’s what I’m pondering:
When followers of Christ join together, like those two chopsticks, they can become a very effective instrument in His hand. Working in tandem, doing His will, His way, it’s a beautiful thing. Yes, we can still accomplish things by working alone. But, like trying to stab a noodle with one chopstick, isn’t it easier to put two together?
“Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor.” Ecclesiastes 4:9 NKJV
“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” Psalm 133:1 NIV