COMMITTED OR MERELY INVOLVED

A Chicken and a Pig lived on a farm. The farmer was very good to them and they both wanted to do something good for him.

One day the chicken approached the pig and said, “I have a great idea for something we can do for the farmer! Would you like to help?”

The pig, quite intrigued by this, said, “of course! What is it that you propose?”

The chicken knew how much the farmer enjoyed a good healthy breakfast. He also knew how little time the farmer had to make a good breakfast. “I think the farmer would be very happy if we made him breakfast.”

The pig thought about this. While not as close to the farmer, he too knew of the farmer’s love for a good breakfast. “I’d be happy to help you make breakfast for the farmer! What do you suggest we make?”

The chicken, understanding that he had little else to offer suggested, “I could provide some eggs.”

The pig knew the farmer might want more, “That’s a fine start. What else should we make?”

The chicken looked around…scratched his head…then said, “ham? The farmer loves ham and eggs!”

The pig, very mindful of what this implied, said, “that’s fine, but while you’re making a contribution I’m making a real commitment!”

____________________

HERE’S ANOTHER VERSION OF THE SAME STORY

A pig and a hen sharing the same barnyard heard about a church’s program to feed the hungry. The pig and the hen discussed how they could help. The hen said, “I’ve got it! We’ll provide bacon and eggs for the church to feed the hungry.” The pig thought about the suggestion and said, “There’s only thing wrong with your bacon and eggs idea. For you, it only requires a contribution, but from me, it will mean total commitment!”

____________________

AND ANOTHER VERSION

A pig and a chicken are walking down the road.

The chicken says: “Hey pig, I was thinking we should open a restaurant!”

Pig replies: “Hm, maybe, what would we call it?”

The chicken responds: “How about ‘bacon-n-eggs’?”

The pig thinks for a moment and says: “No thanks. I’d be committed, but you’d only be involved!”

____________________

SOMETIMES, THE STORY IS PRESENTED AS A RIDDLE

Question:
In a bacon-and-egg breakfast, what’s the difference between the Chicken and the Pig?

Answer:
The Chicken is involved, but the Pig is committed!

Source | Wikipedia

CONSIDER THIS

  • What is your level of commitment to your life, organization, team, or mission?
  • Are you committed or merely involved?
  • Are you willing to increase your level of commitment? If the answer is yes, how do you imagine yourself doing it?

NO TIME FOR TOKEN CONTRIBUTIONS

Once upon a time there was a fire in a small town. The fire brigade rushed to the scene, but the fireman were unable to get through to the burning building. The problem was the crowd of people who had gathered not to watch but to help put out the fire. They all knew the fire chief well – their children had climbed over his fire engines during excursions to the fire station, and the friendliness of the fire chief was legendary. So when a fire broke out the people rushed out to help their beloved fire chief.

Unfortunately the townsfolk were seeking to extinguish this raging inferno with water pistols!  They’d all stand there, from time to time squirting their pistol into the fire while making casual conversation.

The fire chief couldn’t contain himself. He started screaming at the townsfolk. “What do you think you’re doing? What on earth do you think you’re going to achieve with those waterpistols?!”

The people realised the urgency of the situation. How they wanted to help the fire chief. So they started squirting more. “Come on” they encouraged each other, “We can all do better, can’t we?” Squirt, squirt, squirt, squirt.

Exasperated the fire chief yells again. “Get out of here. Your achieving nothing except hindering us from doing what needs to be done. We need fireman who are ready to give everything they’ve got to put out this fire, people willing even to lay their lives on the line. This is not the place for token contributions”

Source | Story retold from Soren Kierkegaard

Soren Kierkegaard, Provocations
(Orbis, 2004) pages 173-275

See also Tony Campolo, Let me Tell You a Story
(Thomas Nelson, 2000) pages 82-83

CONSIDER THIS

Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard is urging us to realise that radical discipleship to Christ means much more than mere involvement or token contributions to the mission of the church in the world. Radical and authentic discipleship calls for wholehearted and total life commitment.

PERFUME FOR MY WIFE

On Christmas Eve, Nathan thought it would be nice to buy his wife a little gift for the next day. Always short of money, he thought long and hard about what that present might be. Unable to decide, Nathan entered Dillard’s and in the cosmetics section he asked the girl, “How about some perfume?”  She showed him a bottle costing $150.00

“Too expensive,” muttered Nathan.

The young lady returned with a smaller bottle for $75.00.

“Oh dear,” Nathan groused, “still far too much.”

Growing rather annoyed at Nathan’s meanness, the sales girl brought out a tiny $30.00 bottle and offered it to him. Nathan became really agitated, “What I mean”, he whined, “is I’d like to see something really cheap.”

So the sales girl handed him a mirror.

Source | unknown

______________________________

A slightly different version

At the end of a long business trip, a man was searching for a gift to take home to his wife. “How about some perfume?” he asked the clerk. She showed him a bottle for 50.

“That’s too much,” he replied. So the clerk showed him a smaller bottle for 30.“That’s still quite a bit,” he complained.

Rolling her eyes, the clerk brought out a tiny bottle for 15. Again he shook his head. “What I mean is I’d like to see something real cheap.” With that the clerk handed him a mirror!

Source | Dennis R. Clark, Sunday Morning (1996).

PONDER AND CONSIDER

Does your mirror reflect scarcity or abundance?

PARABLE OF THE DUCKS

There is a town where only ducks live. Every Sunday the ducks waddle out of their houses and waddle down Main Street to their church.  They waddle into the sanctuary and squat in their proper pews. The duck choir waddles in and takes its place, then the duck minister comes forward and opens the duck Bible. (Ducks, like all other creatures on earth, seem to have their own special version of Scriptures.) He reads to them: “Ducks! God has given you wings! With wings you can fly! With wings you can mount up and soar like eagles. No walls can confine you! No fences can hold you! You have wings. God has given you wings and you can fly like birds!”

All the ducks shouted, “Amen!” And they all waddled home.

Source | Tony Campolo, Let me Tell You a Story. Pages 81-82

PONDER AND CONSIDER

You were born with wings.
You are not meant for crawling, so don’t.
You have wings. Learn to use them and fly. | Rumi

  • We weren’t born to live  meaningless, average existence. We have been given gifts, abilities, untapped potential, intelligence, energy, passion and dreams so that we can live an extraordinary life.
  • What areas of your life do you feel you are most like the ducks in the parable?
  • What steps can you take to begin to “soar” and not just talk about doing so?

Don’t waddle, fly!

TRAVELLING FIRST CLASS

Once upon a time there was a man who wanted to go on a trip. He decided to do this by taking a bus. He went to the bus station to buy a ticket. The man at the ticket counter said, “What kind of ticket do you want – first class, second class, or third class?” The man decided he was a first class kind of a guy, and spent the extra cash needed to secure a first class passage.

It came time for the passengers who had bought tickets to get on the bus. The “first class” man was the only one who had chosen to buy that level of ticket. He got on the bus and asked the driver, “Where do I sit?” The driver replied, “Anywhere you want?” This made the man a little angry. He thought first class people should have special seats you, see. “Well then, wait a minute. Where do the second class people sit?” “Anywhere they want.” replied the driver. Now the man was really angry. “Well, heck, where do the third class people sit?” The driver replied, “Anywhere they want.” The man was about to make a stink at this point because there seemed to be no advantage to paying a higher ticket price, but before he could, more people got on the bus and the driver was otherwise occupied. The man took a seat and began sulking.

Now a half hour into the bus ride, the bus broke down because of a flat tire. The driver got on the loudspeaker and said, “OK, third class people, get out of the bus and change the tire.” The third class people tramped off the bus. Then he said, “OK you second class people, get off the bus and supervise the third class people to make sure they get that tire fixed.” So the second class people tramped off the bus.

Finally there was no one left but the driver and the man who held the first class ticket. “Well, what should I do?” the first class man asked the driver. “Nothing.” replied the driver. “Remember – you’re going first class. All you have to do is watch.”

Source | Unknown

PONDER AND CONSIDER

There are three types of people in this world. The people who fix the tires, the people who stand around saying “fix the tire” and the people who sit around and do nothing. Which one are you?

  • Are you a first class ticket kind of person? Always top of the line, always wanting to be served, taking no initiative and doing nothing?
  • Are you second class, all talk and no action? You know what you should be doing, but you don’t do it.
  • Are you third class? Do you get off that bus whenever a need emerges, fixing in the best way you can the flat tires and hurts of this world? Are you an active agent of and for change when it comes to tikkun olam [Hebrew word meaning “repairing the world”]


A TALKING FROG IS COOL

One day, a young man was walking down a road when a frog called to him, “Hey, if you kiss me, I will turn into a beautiful princess.”

He picked up the frog, smiled at it, then placed the frog into his pocket. A few minutes later, the frog said, “Hey, if you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, and I will stay with you for a week.”

The young man took the frog from his pocket, smiled at it, then put it back into his pocket. A few minutes later, the frog said, “Hey, if you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, I will do anything you want!”

The young man took the frog from his pocket, smiled, and put it back. Finally, the frog cried, “Hey, what is the matter, I have told you that I am a beautiful princess, and if you kiss me, I will stay with you and do anything you want!”

The young man took the frog from his pocket and said, “Look, I am an engineering student, I have no time for a girlfriend, but a talking frog is cool!”

PONDER

  • Are you perhaps too busy for a real commitment?
  • Are you merely satisfied with superficial excitement?