There’s was a longtime handyman named Sam who was once offered a full-time job by a mill owner who was having problems with muskrats at the mill’s dam. The owner asked Sam to rid the mill of the pests and even provided a rifle for him to do the job.

Sam was ecstatic because it was the first steady work with a regular paycheck that he’d ever gotten.

One day, several months later, a friend came to visit Sam. He found him sitting on a grassy bank, the gun across his knees.

“Hey, Sam. Whatcha doin’?” he asked.

“My job, guarding the dam.”

“From what?”


His friend looked over at the dam, and just at that moment a muskrat appeared.

“There’s one!” the friend exclaimed. “Shoot him!”

Sam didn’t move. Meanwhile, the muskrat scurried away.

“Why the heck didn’t you shoot him?”

“Are you crazy?” replied Sam. “Do you think I want to lose my job?

Source:  John C. Maxwell,
The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth
(Center Street, 2012) pages 160-161


Never settle for average – It’s just as close to the bottom as it is to the top.  It’s better to cross a line and suffer the consequences than to just stare at the line for the rest of your life and never know.


Author: philipchircop

I'm a Jesuit from Malta, an artist at heart and madly in love with all things beautiful and soulful: music, painting, sculpture, photography, film, theatre, poetry, good company, good food, good wine and more. I believe that beauty is a wonderful entry into the mystery of the God “whose centre is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.” God can be sensed in all things if and when we engage in a long, loving look at the real that surrounds us. I consider myself a seeker with bottomless curiosity, an eternal student of life, exploring fresh and creative ways to proclaim the Good News in the hope of helping fellow pilgrims and seekers to embrace real and radical changes that will lead to conversion and transformation.

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