When we got engaged 5 years ago, my husband, who is just so romantic and creative designed the most beautiful ring. We were on the beach and he drew the lines in the sand, using shells to represent where the shells would be.
The finished product is platinum, shaped like the Greek symbol for infinity and it encases this beautiful diamond. It's a tension setting and the platinum hugged the diamond quite tightly. The problem was that when my husband had designed the ring we had thought only of the properties of platinum – being so much stronger and more valuable than gold, that we hadn't stopped to consider the physical properties of the diamond. It wasn't just good to look at, it is so much harder than any metal we could have set it in.
Gradually, over time, the diamond wore away the platinum. After a few years of wearing the ring I noticed that sometimes the diamond could make a little ½ turn in the setting. And then over time, the little ½ turn became a full turn. Next thing I know it wasn't only turning around, it could now move up and down as well. It had taken a few years, and it had been doing it so subtly that I hadn't even noticed, but the diamond had been changing it's environment, reshaping its setting and was now just about ready to escape its platinum bonds.
Naturally I was rather distressed about the possibility of losing my precious gem. I was thinking about this ring when I should have been having my quiet time, and I felt God say to me that we should be like that diamond. As Christians, we should be shining, true and consistent. But by being like diamonds, those properties will cause us to change our environment. Gradually we will erode the World from it's grip on our lives. Christians will determine the environment they're in.
So often we think that our lives are inconsequential, that our actions don't achieve much in this world. We don't realize the impact we're actually having. It's like ripples in a pond, it starts out small, but the effect is far-reaching. Slowly, by continuing to walk with Jesus, we will change our environment, a little every day.