Tracey Joynson

OPINION: Hinged or unhinged? That is the question

MY box-trailer has been neglected. It doesn't get used much so I do maintenance on an 'as-needs' basis.

Not surprising then that the last time I used it, the tailgate hinge broke. It had rusted and seized, and my attempts to force it resulted in the hinge breaking away. I subsequently discovered that this compromised the effectiveness of the tailgate. It just wouldn't work properly.

But I'd had other things to do with my time so the repair job had been pushed aside. The next time the trailer was needed, it was essentially useless. A tailgate that keeps falling off on one side and twisting and weakening the remaining fitting just doesn't cut the ice. By affording the repair job a low priority, I'd set myself up for frustrations.

So the point has now been made that tailgates and other hinged devices really do need two of them. Without both, the whole purpose of having the convenience of a swinging flap is rendered essentially useless. Side by side, or one above the other, hinges are designed to work in pairs - together. One without the other is as useful as a grave robber in a crematorium or an ashtray on a motorbike!

Yep, a door was designed to operate with two hinges. One just won't suffice. If we were to examine every cupboard-door in our kitchen we'd find that every one of them has two hinges; one at the top and one on the bottom. If we were to examine every door in the house we would find that each is fitted with at least two hinges. Although some bigger doors may have three, none will have less than two.

So the reality is that every working door in every house has at least two hinges. That's just the way it is. This is the minimum number needed for doors.

Jesus made it clear that the bottom line for us in making a success of our lives is to achieve two fundamental things. One alone won't cut the ice. The two things he impressed upon us are that we must love God more than anything else in life, and the second, that we must live lovingly and thoughtfully with everyone around us. These two things are non-negotiable.

If we manage to kid ourselves that one can exist without the other, we set ourselves up for failure for our purpose in living is compromised. Our lives become ineffectual.

As we realise God's purpose by committing ourselves to live in harmony with both our creator and others, like the hinges of a door, these two commands - to love God and to love others - work together. As long as we observe both commands, we can be confident that we are in tune with God's purposes - on His pathway - through life and to Life. However, if we choose to ignore either love, we will soon find ourselves in a spiritual heap on the floor - fallen from the pegs designed to hold us.

Yes, Jesus said that only two commands are needed to govern our lives: love of God and love of those around us. Are we up for the challenge?

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