Indeed it is a strange world. I found this poem posted in a common area at Fiwagoh. I have read it several times since my arrival home, and find it to be more than a little convicting, very spot on, and humorous all at the same time.
A Strange World
A lot of people are like wheelbarrows- No good unless pushed.
Some are like trailers - They have to be pulled
Some are like canoes - They have to be paddled
Some are like kites- If you don't keep a string on them, they will fly away
Some are like footballs - You cannot tell which way they will bounce next
Others are like balloons - Full of air and ready to blow up
And yet, others are like neon lights - They keep going on and off
But very few like a good watch - Open faced- pure gold - quietly busy
I am sure I am not alone when I say my life is filled with people that could easily fit into one or more of these categories. The wheelbarrow, the trailer, the canoe, the kite, the football, the balloons, the neon light and it is the very few (and often they go by somewhat un-noticed) that stand out like a good watch.
So many in my world are are no good unless they are pushed. (like the wheelbarrow) I spend more of my day than I would like to admit, pushing my people (mostly the dwarfs) to achieve, manage their responsibilities, and get some sort of passion for life!
Sadly, no matter how hard we push and pull them, there is no moving a strong willed, arrogant and prideful person beyond themselves, and if we need to get something done, and they are not willing to be pushed, they tend to get drug along behind. (like the trailer)
Oh, how I wish some of mine were still little enough, still small enough that even the "threat of a paddling", was enough to propel them towards good and right behaviors. At least in those years, their eagerness to please, often over wrought their selfish impulses, when there was even a threat to their backsides in play.
Many of us can relate on occasion to the fact that if we were not "tied down", tethered to the ground we would be like the kite, off in the breeze we would sail, chasing day dreams and shiny things. Sometimes I believe this is an escape mechanism for the wheelbarrow and for the trailer, but others exhibit this trait simply because this is who God created them to be; creative and flexible. (hang on kite)
We all know those that are prone to random behaviors. When the only thing that is certain in life is that they are going to bounce when their disposition becomes triggered. The struggle here is that their being triggered is the only know entity. When and where the trigger happens and where that individual ends up after they are triggered no one knows. (can something that shape even be in the "ball" family)
I can speak honestly about this point in the poem, and I am sure I am not alone, sometimes I am so full of hot headedness, disgruntled-ness, frustration and anger, that one little pin prick will have me blowing air at anyone, no one, or everyone!
"Hello in there? Anyone at home?" We sometimes refer to this around the kingdom, as being intentionally obtuse... but it rings true I think with us all. Sometimes we are on, and sometimes we are off. Unfortunately many of those around us in the world have no ability to control it when we are on and when we are off. General flighty-ness, mental illness, social and learning disabilities are the cause of this on again off again dispositions in some of our family, friends neighbors and co-workers. ( neon lights are so bright initially, they flicker on/off for a long time when they are burning out )
But friends, how many of us can say that we know, or are one that, who on a regular, steady, and unchanging basis, works on task, quietly behind the scenes, for the glory of the Lord and for the edification of others. What usually happens to those that are the consistent, calm, practical, and steady at what they do? They get taken for granted. They may look good on the outside, but their true form, being the back bone to many, never changing, always to be counted on which is so desperately needed, that it is take for granted. (like a good watch)
I understand that you may not be in agreement with all my analogies outlined above, but is not that the great thing about the arts (poetry, painting etc) We the consumer take from it what we each need to, leaving the same images to resonate with others, perhaps in a completely different way. It is great that in the world we live in we can all have opinions and they do not have to match up with one another 100%!
So here is the remainder of my thoughts and ponderings on this poem:
What would the world look like if more of us were encouraging wheelbarrows to work to their full capacity? If we load the trailers with tools for success instead of just pulling them to the next thing without explanation? Instead of turning the other way, we confronted poor behaviors in others and were willing to in return accept the criticism of ourselves from others without defensiveness? What if we encouraged dreamers to dream while keeping their feet on the ground and providing resources for their dreams to become reality? What if the crazy bounces in life that caught us off guard could be handled with grace and mercy, recognizing that we are all unique and different and handle what life throws at us differently? What if instead of letting things build up until we are ready to blow, we talk about the things that cause us stress and hurt feelings, so that our balloon was never on the verge of popping. What if we loved and paid attention to those around us who's life seems to be on a dimmer switch, seeking ways to assist them, encourage them and find resources for them, so their dim moments lessen and they had more chances to be more like a fresh neon light. Bright!
If I purposed each day to be aware and react according to the needs of those around me, it would be my hope that I would be more like a good watch and less like a balloon. But even as I type these words, I am in no way desiring that others see me, or my works and efforts on behalf of others, it is my goal that they would see Christ through me. That in my encouragement, and steadfast work, supporting and lifting up those around me that I would be showing to those in the world that have lost their place and feel discouraged, the unconditional love of Christ and the difference that He made in my life and how He can impact their lives.
Even if you do not have a relationship with the Lord consider this, kindness, grace, mercy and unconditional love have never hurt anyone. No one has died being kind, extending grace, and accepting others unconditionally. When we do these things, we stand out, like a good watch. When we are pure in our intentions, seek to serve others before ourselves, we decrease and others increase. In the lives of believers we decrease and Christ increases.
My corner is crowded with wheelbarrows, trailers, canoes, kites, footballs, balloons, and neon lights. In my corner there are also some beautiful good pure gold watches! I desire to be more like the good watches. I want others to be their best, in their own unique ways be transformed into good watches, steady, happily and eagerly doing the things that God has intended for them to do. I want others to see Christ in me. His beauty and glory. At the end of my poem, I want the Lord to greet me with His arms open, saying "Well done my good and faithful servant!" Matt 25:23