A Thread in a Tapestry: How God has Woven Us into His Story

Our individual stories are like the “threads in the tapestry” that make up the story of mankind. Each unique thread contributes to the whole picture. This week in The BAM Review, we will use this metaphor as we consider our stories in the context of God’s story, business as mission, and the stories of people around us.

A thread cannot see the whole picture of the tapestry, but the Maker of the tapestry can

Understanding how and where we fit into God’s story is complicated. We’ll never fully know the reason we’ve been woven into the relationships, positions of authority, communities, or situations we are in now.

This can be intensified for BAMers, who are often part of a challenging and complex picture. At some points we might have the most authority in the room, at others we may have the least. Some of us may have many friends, people we’re discipling, and feel rooted in our communities. Others of us may feel outsiders as we grapple with language and cultural differences. Some may have thriving businesses and the capacity to expand. Others of us may have been trying for years and never made it into the black. Many of us have gone between these extremes. Yet God is capable of weaving all of our experiences and all of these extremes into a glorious tapestry. He is able to redeem our circumstances to His glory. In the process, He has more innovative and creative solutions than we ever could imagine.

As just one thread in the tapestry, we know that in our most intensely dry, brittle seasons and in our most glorious and beautiful seasons, we are being woven by Him. God will weave our complicated stories into his big picture, even if we never are able to see the whole.

A thread is deeply interwoven with other threads around it and cannot be separated from the tapestry

A tapestry must be tightly and strategically woven or else it is just a pile of threads, not a picture. Business and mission are both relationship-oriented and we can clearly see how intertwined, dependent upon, and connected we are with other people – the other threads in our picture.

As business people, we consider others daily. How are we providing value for our customers? How are we benefiting our stakeholders? We consider and weigh our interactions with employees, bosses, coworkers, teammates, and the surrounding community. We have more reason than most to deeply consider our interactions with others because the life of the business depends on it. In business we are acutely aware of our connectedness to, and our dependence upon, other people. 

As missionally-minded people, we again consider others daily. We’re intentional about building friendships and relationships. We’re intentional about modeling love, compassion, empathy, diligence, and character to others around us. Being part of God’s church and a disciple of Jesus is relational! A skim through the New Testament shows us that more than half is about how we are to interact with the people around us.

As people doing mission-minded business, we know that none of us exists apart from community, just as one thread is not independent from the tapestry.

A thread does not define the value of the tapestry, but without it the tapestry is arguably, incomplete

Nevertheless, one of the greatest pitfalls that I and others in my community fall into, is trying too hard to understand ourselves outside of the context of our community. It is as if we pull out our thread from the tapestry, hold it up, analyze it and try and evaluate its worth aside from the whole picture.

I’m grateful for the countless tools we have as BAMers that give us a better understanding of who we are. Strengthfinders, Kolbe Index, Cultural Intelligence Index, Enneagram, Myers Briggs – all of which are fantastic tools to help you understand yourself. Apart from that, we have quizzes and tests built to help us discern if we’d make good entrepreneurs or business-builders, or if we have “what it takes” to work in a cross-cultural setting. But each gift, ability, or strength highlighted by one of these tools isn’t meaningful if we only use these strengths to define who we are, instead of using them to serve others. When we use these tools to discern our place, we should consider not only what it says about us as individuals, but how we can use these skill sets and traits to mesh with our teams and the people around us. Together we are greater than the sum of our parts!

Likewise, when we pull ourselves out of the tapestry, the tapestry suffers. I have a pair of jeans and a thread started coming loose last week. Then another did. And another. In the same way, nearly everything we do as individuals affects at least one other person. This principle is amplified in business settings given the place of power and authority that companies have within communities.

The value of the tapestry is defined in one of two ways: Either by, the skill, time, and craftsmanship the tapestry Maker put into it, or by how much someone would pay for it

Our Weaver has been patiently and expertly weaving, for longer days than anyone on earth knows how to number. As we reflect on who we are, and where we belong or fit into this story, we should first reflect on who He is and how much love, skill, time, and effort He has put into crafting, forming, and shaping us. This tapestry He is making is invaluable. He cares about the placement of each thread, and where it comes along in the story.

For those threads that have been woven into business, or perhaps felt a tug in that direction, we remember that God is the one who placed us, wove us, and tugged us. Look to Him for your value.

This tapestry, this community of humanity, His Kingdom was bought at the highest cost: the cost of the life of the King and Maker of all life.

As we reflect on where we fit into “business as mission”, we should remember that neither our roles as business people nor our identification as missionally-minded people define our value. “Business person”, “Missionary”, “BAMer” – these all may be useful labels and tools to help us explain to others what we do, but they are not terms that inform our value. Our value is solely defined by the blood of Jesus paid on the cross.

 

We invite you to join us at the BAM Global Summit this month to see your thread in the global BAM picture. More information below.

 

Read next >> A Thread in a Tapestry Part 2: Tools to Understand Who I Am in the Context of My Community

BAM GLOBAL SUMMIT 2023

THURSDAY 27 APRIL

Join us this April at the annual gathering point for the global business as mission movement…

Gather with the global BAM community at the BAM Global Summit 2023, online on Thursday 27 April. The Main Stage presentations will be broadcast twice, live for both the East and West hemispheres. In between will be a joint schedule of breakouts and multiple opportunities for networking.

Shay acts as the communication assistant for the BAM Global team. As a full time content creator and web developer, Shay uses her skills to partner with community-building organizations.