I saw a clip1 recently that retells the famous story of the challenge between a turtle and a rabbit. We know the moral of the story – slow and steady wins the race. But there is a part two to the story. Realising that he could have won, the rabbit challenged the turtle to race a second time. This time, the rabbit ran without stopping and won the race comfortably. Moral of the story – Fast and consistent will always beat the slow and steady.
There is a part three to the story. Not being satisfied in having lost, the turtle challenged the rabbit to yet another race, but on his own terms – which is a different route. The rabbit agreed. Off they raced. The rabbit sped off but had to stop close to the finishing line, because there was a river he had to cross in order to reach it. As he pondered for a way, the turtle arrived, swam across and won the race. Moral of story – First identify your core competency and then change the playing field to suit your core competency.
There is a final fourth part to the story! Having challenged each other for so long, both the turtle and rabbit decided that instead of challenging each other, they could actually run as a team. Which was what they did. First, the rabbit piggy-backed the tortoise, as he races off. When they came to the river, it was the turtle’s turn to piggy-back the rabbit as he swims to the finishing line, together with the rabbit.
Moral of the story – It is so much the better to work together as a team and build on each other’s strengths.
The above anecdotal story has to the with leadership skills in the area of making the best out of one’s core competency. It got me thinking about ministry in the church. Not so much of core competency but gifts of the Spirit.
In our recent study from Hebrews 2:4, it makes mention of ‘gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.’ We are grateful to God, as Ephesians 4:7 records, that spiritual gifts are ‘. . . given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.’ Paul repeats this same truth in 1Cor. 12:7 saying, ‘To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.’ Hence, Scripture is clear that all Christians, without except are given gifts of the Spirit.
What then are the purposes of such gifts? In the major passages that deals with Spiritual Gifts (Eph. 4; 1Cor. 12; Rom. 12 and 1Pe. 4), it points to the importance of believers being members one of another, living in inter-dependence with each other. Far from it being used to challenge each other, the spiritual gifts are meant to bless each other to that end that teamwork, or more accurately, serving in the same family, we do so for Him and for His glory alone.
To this end, may God bless our body-life in Bethesda Chapel, as we press on together, exercising the variety of gifts that God has given to each one of us in the family, for His name’s sake and glory.
Elder Richard Lai