Story of the Day for Thursday January 26, 2012
Getting Into the Water
There is profit in all hard work, but more talk leads only to poverty.
John W. Holt describes an exercise used by Outward Bound in their program on Hurricane Island, Maine. Twenty people are told to squeeze into a cave that is only wide enough for one person to walk through. The group comes to a dead end. The only way out is to climb up to a crack above them and climb out to the other side. The group is lined up alternating a tall person with a shorter one. The instructors tell them they must climb up and exit the cave in this order within twenty minutes.
Want to know what typically happens? They argue for 19 minutes about how to solve the problem. The instructor warns them they have one minute left. They stop planning, and by brute force, they climb up through the crack. The point of the exercise is that talking and planning can go on and on. At some point you have to stop talking and just do it.
That’s the hard part: gettin’ ‘er done. It’s so much easier to talk about what we want to do rather than starting the hard work necessary to accomplish our dreams.
Nolan Bushnell, the founder of Atari and Chuck E. Cheese’s, says, “The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today.” Bushnell then concludes, “The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.”
We would do well to apply Bushnell’s words to our life of faith. John Michael Talbot, in Changes: A Spiritual Journal, does just that. He says, “I am wearied by a fellowship of many words. I grow tired of talking about the worship. I would much rather simply worship. I grow tired of talking about music. I would much rather simply make music. I grow tied of talking about humility and love. I would rather simply serve in humility and love.”
Obviously, you always precede work with talk. With ideas. With discussion of ideas. And a plan. But the focal point is not the talking; it is the work to be accomplished.
When I was in college I took a course in evangelism at a local congregation. The class was great, but the pastor confided to me his disappointment. He told me that the members love the evangelism class. But they don’t want to go out and share their faith. Instead, they want me to start another class so they can keep on studying about evangelism.
For eight years, Kim Linehan held the world record for the women’s 1500 meter freestyle. When she was 18 years old, her coach called her the leading amateur woman distance swimmer in the world. It took a lot of hard work for her to accomplish such a feat. Do you know the hardest part of her training? Kim says it’s, “Getting into the water.”
(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)