Superglue is one of my favourite products. Why? Because I have had notable success with it in lengthening the useful lifespan of so many other things which would normally be disposed of or remain dysfunctional - except that one awkward time when I glued my thumb tip to my index finger...
The list grows long: the dial on the slow-cooker disintegrated, the two laminated sides on the kitchen knife handle, then the salad server handle. All given a long reprieve with superglue. The dropped ornaments rebuilt with forensic patience, the soles of shoes held together for another season, I could go on. Let's just say I am not the retailer's dream customer. I make things last. T-Shirts never make it to the charity shop from my wardrobe, they become cleaning rags because they are truly finished.
For the best part of a decade now I have enjoyed regular beach and rock running along the coasts of the Manukau Harbour at Hillsborough, and now the Waitemata on the North Shore. It's great fun and requires a particular skill set. It's far more interesting than road running, and hazardous in a number of ways. Beach running is far tougher on shoes than most other types of running, and certainly not something I would subject a new pair of expensive trainers to.
My ex beach shoes don't go to the op-shop either, they die and go in the bin. They smell really bad and look worse. Superglue enables their tortured life to continue a bit longer. Imagine my joy when I discovered a whole new kind of glue called Shoegoo, specifically designed for sports shoes. Amazingly flexible and can be reapplied several times.
As Shoegoo gives life to the generations of my beach running shoes, so the church should give life to the generations of human community. Jesus urged his followers to be 'salt and light' a preserving and guiding presence in the world, enabling human flourishing. How is our saltiness and illumination going? I'm going to leave you with a great radio quote in the business context from Rev. Frank Ritchie I heard the other day, which may help to focus our thoughts on what we do every day, and how it builds and enhances human community, how we can be 'the glue';
"If at the end of the day, the business that you are undertaking is making you a dollar but is not enabling human flourishing, then your business is actually failing."