A Cooperative Spirit

In the classic essay “I, Pencil,” Leonard Read writes about the making of a pencil from the point of view of the pencil. The point made is that no one person could ever know enough to produce it alone: “Man can no more direct these millions of know-hows to bring me into being than he can put molecules together to create a tree.”

Lesson: If that is true of a humble pencil, how much more does it mean for all of life?

In Philippians 1:27, Paul admonished us to “strive together.” “Strive” is the translation of a Greek word used of an athletic contest. A prefixed preposition, implying cooperation, makes the total meaning of the word refer to an athletic contest in which a group of athletes cooperates to gain a victory.

During a hike in the woods, a troop of boy scouts came across an abandoned section of railroad track. Each, in turn, as kids will, tried walking the rails, but eventually lost his balance and had to step off. Then, two of the boys, after considerable whispering, offered to bet that they could walk the entire length of the track without falling off. Challenged by the others to do so, the two boys jumped up on opposite rails, extended a hand to balance each other, and walked the entire section of track without any difficulty. They had demonstrated an important lesson in life.

We accomplish more by helping each other.

“If you don’t believe in cooperation, just observe what happens to a wagon when one wheel falls off!”

Pastor David Arnold
Gulf Coast Worship Center