3M Company’s researcher Spence Silver was working on a brand new sticky concoction. He discovered an adhesive that could make a piece of paper stick and re-stick on different things. 3M didn’t see a need and wrote it off as useless.
One day, another of 3M’s employees, Authur Fry, told Silver about the problems he had in keeping his songbook pages marked as he directed his choir. He would mark the pages with loose pieces of paper, but those would often fall out, making him lose his place and frantic to recover. Silver’s sticky concoction was used on these little pieces of paper to mark Fry’s place and before long the “sticky note” was born. It wasn’t long before these sticky notes were requested all over the country and have become a fixture in nearly every home and office ever since.
It’s funny to think that something so helpful today was once just a “useless” research project. Whether inventions or people, many have often been wrongly written off as “useless.” Sadly, sometimes we are especially harsh on ourselves and feel we have no use in God’s kingdom.
People at the church in Corinth much have been feeling this same way. Notice what Paul tells them, “For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot says, ‘Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,’ it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. And if the ear says, ‘Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,’ it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be?…And the eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’; or again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’ On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary” (1 Corinthians 12:14-17, 21-22).
Maybe someone has been overly critical of you. Maybe you’ve tried but haven’t found a useful place to serve in the church. Maybe you’ve been feeling useless. At one time people didn’t think “sticky notes” had a useful place either. Throughout Scripture, God worked through weak, flawed, and feeble people (Moses, Gideon, etc). Keep in mind that God doesn’t make junk. We all have an important place to fill in. We are useful to God. God can use us. Will we let him?