Selfishness and Synergy


I’ve been a little selfish lately.  Sometimes things happen in our lives that make it hard to look outside of ourselves.  That’s been happening to me.  So, yesterday morning, following the example of a friend, I prayed that, in spite of my limited resources, time, and emotional bandwidth, that I would be able to help someone that day.  I quickly forgot about the request and went about my day.

I didn’t remember it until I found myself in the hospital, standing next to the bed of someone who had broken his jaw.  As he was writhing in pain, all of my decorum fled as my maternal, nurturing instincts took over.  The next time he cried out, I grabbed his hand and held it tight.  I felt bad that holding his hand was the best I could do.  It was only after he looked at me with intense gratitude in his eyes, that I remembered my request from the morning.

This is a really big deal for me.  Not just because my prayer was answered, but because blood, and Courtney, don’t play nice.  I get sick to my stomach every time my kids skin their knees.  It’s really bad.

But last night, I was able to mop blood off of a strangers face and shirt without any problems.


The 6th habit of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is Synergize.  Synergy is what happens when the sum of things (or people) working together are equal to more than the sum of their parts.

Last night, the Lord helped me be so much more than I ever could be on my own.  I guess it’s not exactly synergy, because God’s power is infinite, but the experience was a helpful reminder that we can accomplish so much more when we work together, than when we allow our pride to tell us we can do it all on our own.

Pushed to the Limit.

Another thing I learned last night was that sometimes the Lord will ask us to do things that push us to our limits, but if we have faith, we’ll make it through with His help.

I was feeling rather pleased with myself and the fact that I had been able to handle the gore without any trouble.  I wondered if whatever plagued my weak stomach was no longer an issue for me.  But when the doctor began the actual procedure, I began to feel light-headed.  I mentioned to the doctor that I thought I needed to sit down, then I woke up on the floor.

I fainted, crashed into the supply cart behind me, and landed on the floor.  Fortunately, I was already in a hospital.  Unfortunately, protocol insisted I be admitted, have blood work, an EKG, and a CT.  Instead of comforting someone in pain, I was stuck in a hospital bed.

This act of service literally took me to my physical limit.  But the Lord doesn’t expect us to run farther than we can.  And we shouldn’t feel insecure or weak because of it.  We only feel that way because we compare ourselves to others.  Our sacrifice is acceptable to Him.

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