The boy was determined. He didn’t mean to argue. He just meant to help his grandfather do what he had said he was going to do.
This one’s a little too big to get over the fence. We’ll have to drag it out the gate, after all. Hopefully, the dogs won’t get out while we do it.
The boy’s aging grandfather was only being pragmatic. After all, the mulberry limb was twelve feet long and loaded with unripe mulberries. There was no reason to strain anyone’s muscles when the gate was just ten feet away.
Why don’t we lift together and just see if we can get it over, Grandpa?
The question was never an argument; it was simply a trial balloon, floated through the air in hopes that the old man would agree to help share the load, rather than insist on opening the gate.
For some reason, opening the gate seemed like failure to the kid with the faux-mohawk adorning his head.
The old man smiled. He’s never worn a mohawk, but in the mischievous eyes of the boy (and also in the lad’s thought processes) he sees so much of himself fifty years past.
He wonders how different life might have been if offering such helpful alternatives had been possible in similar situations when he was that age.
He grew up in a day when no meant no. One didn’t argue, or even offer alternatives.
And, I don’t mean maybe! The red-headed lady who raised him said it often enough.
But, it was also a day when you pulled your own weight. Period.
No, thanks! I can get this just fine. You go on and do your own job.
Self-sufficiency. Take care of your business. I’ll deal with mine.
He jerked slightly and, looking toward the source of the words, saw the grinning boy lifting the end of the long branch already. The boy’s older brother did his part in the center of the hefty limb, and Grandpa took a grip on the thickest section, lifting and hurling the whole affair over the tall chainlink fence with their help.
With their help.
Over the last few years, and especially in the last few weeks, I have come to realize, again and again, how much I need the assistance of others who care. Many folks, none of whom were under any compulsion other than that of love, have helped me to lift the loads I couldn’t begin to carry myself.
The boy with the almost-mohawk is merely following the simple instructions the Apostle who loved to write letters gave to the good folks in the region of modern-day Turkey two thousand years ago.
He said, Share each other’s loads. It’s how you fulfill Christ’s instructions. (Galatians 6:2-3)
The child, a sixth of my age, is learning to live by the words already.
Our creator designed us to function at our best when we perform in concert with each other. He doesn’t need any one-man shows.
Elijah thought he was a one-man show and it nearly cost him his sanity. God, speaking in His gentle whisper, suggested to him that wasn’t the way He worked. No, my child, there are thousands more doing the same thing you are in the place I put them. You’re not the only one—not even close. (1 Kings 19: 12-18)
Somehow my mind needs pictures. I read recently about direct drive motors, and it seems the perfect example.
Direct drive motors. None of us functions as one of those. As the name intimates, direct drive needs nothing else to get the job done. A power source and the motor. That’s it.
We are not that.
Gearbox motors are a bit more complex, perhaps even a little less reliable. Still, the Creator selected that technology when He determined how we, who are made in His own image, would interact with each other and the rest of His creation.
Gears, interacting with thousands, perhaps millions of other gears—teeth meshing with teeth, rotating in the exact place the Master Designer planned for each individual one of us.
Each gear is exactly as important as those it meshes with; not one could stop rotating without adversely affecting the movement of the whole.
No, we’re not merely cogs in a wheel. We’re cogs in THE wheel. Absolutely essential, every single one.
A gear spinning by itself serves no purpose. Sure, it’s pulling it own weight.
But, it’s going nowhere. Fast.
We need each other.
Just as I needed my grandsons today, we, on our journey, falter and fail without the interaction kindred spirits offer.
We help lift the load for others.
And, we allow them to help lift our load.
Funny. That’s the way love works.
But, you already knew that, didn’t you?
He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
(Ephesians 4:16 ~ NLT)
Doing nothing for others is the undoing of ourselves.
(Horace Mann ~ American educational reformer/politician ~ 1796-1859)
© Paul Phillips. He’s Taken Leave. 2017. All Rights Reserved.