A Call To Co-Operation -- By: Robin Claydon

Journal: Priscilla Papers
Volume: PP 03:4 (Fall 1989)
Article: A Call To Co-Operation
Author: Robin Claydon

A Call To Co-Operation

Robin Claydon

Adapted from an address presented at Lau-sane II Congress on World Evangelism, Manila, July 1989.

The fingers on the hand were having a rather heated discussion on who was the most important. When the discussion turned into an argument, the thumb decided to intervene. He suggested everyone sit down and each finger be given the opportunity to state why he thought he was the greatest! The thumb would be the judge.

The index finger was called on. He stood up and said, “I’m the most important because I’m the one that points the way. I’m also the most important because when people count they start with me.”

The middle finger was called to stand, but refused saying, “If all the fingers will stand with me, you will see that I’m the most important” When they stood, the middle finger said, “It is clear that I am the greatest as I stand head and shoulders above the rest.”

The next finger was called and he said, “I’m the most important because people load me with riches—I have gold, silver and precious stones put on me. I am therefore the most important because people value me the most.”

Lastly, the little finger stood saying, “I’m the greatest because I’m the strongest. When anyone wants to make a point very vehemently, they bang their fist on the table and I take the full force of the attack. I’m the greatest because I am the strongest”

The thumb then took a tennis ball and said, “Each one of you come and pick this up.” Each finger tried, but none succeeded. Then the thumb said, “Now work together and try to pick up the ball.” They each held a different part of the ball and found they could lift it. It wasn’t very easy, but they could at least do better than when they each tried to pick up the ball just on their own. The thumb then said, “Now try again and let me help you.” The whole hand, fingers and thumb, all worked together and lifted the ball easily.

There are some things we can do alone, more we can do when we work together, and still more when we work together and with God.

When the term “co-operation” is used, the emphasis is usually on “co” —together, but let us not forget that the phrase means as much “working” together as working “together”. There is action involved in “co-operation”, but it is an action undertaken in unity. It is not enough for us to nod assent at the notion of co-operation. What is required is a determination to take the initiatives needed to move ourselves, our congregations, our churches , our groups into co-operative endeavour.

Unity does not mean that...

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