09 Aug Bionic Man?
I was also thinking about this issue of productivity while I was running with my wife one day last year. I had previously injured my left leg and she asked me how it felt (since I was able to run again). Without hesitating, I said “my left leg is okay but my right leg is ready to take off because it feels so strong!” And it did – my right leg was rested and ready to go! Then I thought about what I said and the potential metaphor with regards to people. Because my left leg was recovering from an injury, my strong right leg had to slow down to accommodate its weak counterpart (in fact it had to stop running for a time being). My strong right leg had no choice but to slow down or risk further injury to my weak left leg – that was just the way it was. And the vice versa of that would not work – my weak leg could not just run faster to keep up with my strong leg because it was not capable of running faster, period. Thus the point – I can’t just cut off my weaker leg and get a bionic one (at least not at this time in our history) so that I can run faster! But what do we, as people, typically do when a faster, more productive, or stronger person comes along and we have a weaker person on our team? We fire the weak link or cut off the weak leg. Slowing down is typically not on our agenda. The Bible says,
“We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves”
That is what we are talking about. I’ve also discovered (at least for me) that it is often harder to slow down than to speed up, but that is my call if I am going to love people. Make sense? If we are so smart (or strong) and know so much then we need to teach and train others to get faster rather than finding someone that already is faster. I know, it can be a bit more complex than that, but to me it is like having children – once we have them it is our job as parents to train them, not return them for better ones when they mess up. I believe it is the same with other people in our lives – we need to long suffer with them, not trade them in for better ones, at our discretion. That is also Christian discipleship, at least as I have come to understand it, and loving a person is at its root.