2- Remember that we are all on the same boat.
I’ve worked in the garment industry for about 8 years now. I’ve had to work in some of the most toxic environments. The worst place to be is somewhere where everyone is trying to get to the top while tearing each other down. Imagine a bucket of crabs. All the crabs are trying to get to the top of the bucket to claw themselves to freedom from the steampot. They’re constantly grabbing on to whatever’s in front of them. What’s in front of them may be another crab, so in the process both crabs just end up falling to the bottom of the bucket. Now think about if those same crabs worked together and climbed methodically on top of each other, wouldn’t at least one of them get to the top? Wouldn’t the one who got to the top lend a hand to his brothers and sisters left in the bucket? My industry is very much like a bucket of crabs. Everyone wants to be on top, but no one wants to stand at the bottom. How different would it be if everyone realized we’re in the same bucket?
The Bible says it like this: “Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 ESV: Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
A Facebook friend of mine posted this picture and it’s just one of those things that resonates with you. Talk about truths! So I wanted to devote the next couple of posts to elaborate a bit on each point.
1- Don’t miss the boat.
The Monday after the Super Bowl, a friend of mine at the office brought in homemade chocolate covered cheesecake pops. Having gorged myself on cheese fries (and a hamburger…and a hot wing…and M&M’s) the night before, I gracefully declined having one. Which means I took one look at them and ran in the other direction without so much as a “No, thank you.” But with like all temptations, this one kept haunting me. Every time I went into the kitchen to fill up my water bottle, there they were sitting in all their chocolaty goodness. I was staring at them, imagining the soft crack of the chocolate against my teeth followed by the creamy richness of cheesecake flooding my mouth. (drooling yet?) But I was strong willed, I wasn’t going to cave in! I sat at my desk that afternoon and couldn’t shake the image of them. So I reasoned with myself, if I allowed myself to eat one, I would do an extra 10 minutes on the elliptical at the gym the next morning. That seemed fair. I went into the kitchen to get a pop…only to see that they were all gone! Oh the tragedy!!! If I had just jumped on the opportunity to take one of those luscious little pops, I wouldn’t have missed my chance! Now my cake pop analogy is small tarts compared to the proposition the people in Noah’s neighborhood were offered: either get on the boat or drown. Learn to hear God’s commands for you so you don’t miss the boat and drown!
“What gives you the right to lead?” asked Pastor Sharo as we sat in Growth Groups Leadership training last night.
Answers ranged from having expertise in the subject you’re teaching to having the ability to influence your students. I didn’t offer an answer. Mostly because I really have to think about a question before I answer it…and it’s not easy to think and listen to everyone’s input at the same time. But really, what gives ME the right to lead anyone?
The only answer that kept popping into my head last night was “NOTHING.”
Nothing gives me the right. I don’t have an extraordinary talent for the subject of my class. I’m afraid to stand in front of a class that will most likely be full of students asking questions that I won’t have an answer to. I’m full of nerves and I try to compensate for that by being over prepared (and yes being over prepared is just as bad as being under prepared!). I’m inflexible. I don’t come across as friendly because I’m way too shy.
I was writing a lot of this in my personal journal this morning when my Spirit spoke these words to me “God is your leader and He chose YOU to lead.” So if my Father chose me for this, why am I worrying? It’s time I stopped thinking about my shortcomings and remember that He has already given me everything I need to do His work!
Isn’t that amazing? God gives us everything we need before we even know we need it! Of everything I’ve learned in the past months, that in itself always gets me. The realization that He has already molded us for the purpose we were created for blows my mind. Who would’ve thought?