TEAMWORK

Some people were attending a seminar. The speaker, wanting to wake up the group into full consciousness, decided to start with a  group activity. He gave each participant a colourful balloon. He continued by asking everyone to take some time to blow up the balloon and to write their name on it using the few indelible marker pens scattered around. Then all the balloons were gathered in an adjacent room.

The participants, now in the adjacent room with the balloons, were challenged to find the balloon bearing their name within 5 minutes. Everyone was frantically searching for their name, colliding with each other and pushing around others. There was utter chaos.

At the end of the 5 minutes hardly anyone had found the balloon.

The speaker now asked the participants to randomly pick any balloon and give it to the the person whose name was written on it.

Within minutes everyone had their own balloon.

Source | As I recall it being told during a seminar I attended

CONSIDER THIS

God Speaks to us all a little differently, hoping we’ll tell each other. | John Stewart

ARE YOU INSURED?

I am writing in response to your request concerning Block No. 1 on the insurance form which asked for the cause of injuries, wherein I put “Trying to do the job alone.”  You said you needed more information, so I trust that the following will be sufficient.

I am a bricklayer by trade, and on the day of injuries, I was working alone, laying brick around the top of a four-story building, when I realized that I had about five hundred pounds of brick left over. Rather than carry the bricks down by hand, I decided to put them in a barrel and lower them by pulley, which was fastened to the top of the building. I secured the end of the rope at ground level and went up to the top of the building and loaded the bricks into the barrel and flung the barrel out with the bricks in it.  Then I went down and untied the rope, holding it securely to insure the slow descent of the barrel.

As you will note on Block No. 6 of the insurance form, I weigh 150 pounds.  Due to the shock of being jerked off the ground so swiftly, I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope.  Between the second and third floors, I met the barrel coming down. This accounts for the bruises and lacerations on my upper body.  Regaining my presence of mind, again I held tightly to the rope and proceeded rapidly up the side of the building, not stopping until my right hand was jammed in the pulley.  This accounts for my broken thumb.

Despite the pain, I retained my presence of mind and held tightly to the rope.  At approximately the same time, however, the barrel of bricks hit the ground and the bottom fell out of the barrel.  Devoid of the weight of the bricks, the barrel now weighed about fifty pounds.  I refer you again to Block No. 6 and my weight.  As you would guess, I began a rapid descent.  In the vicinity of the second floor, I met the barrel coming up. This explains the injuries to my legs and lower body.  Slowed only slightly, I continued my descent, landing on the pile of bricks.  Fortunately, my back was only sprained and the internal injuries were minimal.  I’m sorry to report, however, that at this point I again lost my presence of mind and let go of the rope. As you can imagine, the empty barrel crashed down on me.

I trust this answers your concern.  Please know that I am finished with trying to do the job alone.

Barbara Johnson, So, Stick a Geranium in Your Hat and Be Happy
(Thomas Nelson, 2004) pages 80-81

CONSIDER THIS

  • Are you still trying to do the “job”, whatever your “job” may be, alone?
  • How comfortable are you working with others?
  • What do you consider to be the pros and cons of working alone … of working with others?

ONE BODY

Once upon a time, the various parts of the body began complaining against the stomach.

“Look at me,” says the hand, “I till the soil to plant the seeds, I harvest the crops, I prepare the food. All that the stomach ever does is lie there waiting to be fed. This is unfair.”

The feet agreed, “Me too, I carry the heavy stomach around all day, I carry him to the farm to get food, I carry him to the river to get water, I even carry him up the palm tree to get palm wine, and all the stomach ever does is lie there and expect to get his ration of food, water and wine whenever he needs them. This is unfair.”

The head, too complained how he carries all the heavy load from the farm and from the river, all to feed the stomach who does nothing to help. The parts of the body decided that this injustice must stop. To force the issue, they decided to embark on a protest action. They agreed to stop working and feeding the lazy stomach until the stomach learns to be a responsible citizen of the body.

A whole day went by and the stomach was not given any food or water or wine. All that the stomach did was groan from time to time while the others taunted him. By the second day of starving the stomach, the head said that he was beginning to feel dizzy. By the third day, the hands reported that they were feeling weak, and the feet were wobbly and could not stand straight. Then it dawned on them that, much as they were visibly supporting the stomach, the stomach was also supporting them in a less obvious but equally important way. It dawned on them that by feeding the stomach they were feeding themselves without knowing it. So they called off their strike action and went back to work to feed the stomach. Their strength returned and together with the stomach they lived happily together after.

Source | An african fable of unknown origin

PONDER AND CONSIDER

Reflect on the passage for Paul’s 1st letter to the Corinthians:

Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot would say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear would say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.  If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many members, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and those members of the body that we think less honorable we clothe with greater honor, and our less respectable members are treated with greater respect; whereas our more respectable members do not need this. But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior member, that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it. | 1 Corinthians 12:14-26

Remember that every member of the community, including those who appear to be useless, are important after all.

 

 

TRUST GOD BUT TIE YOUR CAMEL

There was once a man who was on his way back home from market with his camel and, as he’d had a good day, he decided to stop at a mosque along the road and offer his thanks to God.

He left his camel outside and went in with his prayer mat and spent several hours offering thanks to Allah, praying and promising that he’d be a good Muslim in the future, help the poor and be an upstanding pillar of his community.

When he emerged it was already dark and lo and behold – his camel was gone!
He immediately flew into a violent temper and shook his fist at the sky, yelling:

“You traitor, Allah! How could you do this to me? I put all my trust in you and then you go and stab me in the back like this!”

A passing sufi dervish heard the man yelling and chuckled to himself.

“Listen,” he said, “Trust God but, you know, tie up your camel.”

Source : The Essential Rumi. Renditions by  Coleman Barks

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ANOTHER VERSION

A young man went to a great master of wisdom and said to him, ‘Master, so great is my trust in God that I didn’t even hitch my camel out there. I left it to God’s providence, for God to take care of it.”

And the wise master said, ‘Go back outside and tie your camel to the post, you nincompoop! There’s no point in inconveniencing God with something that you can do yourself.’

Source: Walking on Water by Anthony de Mello 

PONDER AND CONSIDER

  • If your leave the jar of honey open, by morning it may be full of ants!
  • Trust is always and necessarily a cooperative venture between your inner knowing or spirit, and the world in which you live. Trust is active, aware and alert. It is not blind and unknowing.