The Story of the Urn – Are you contributing or consuming?

A long time ago in a small village a boy found an urn that had magical properties.  He used it to play with every day until he lost it, as little boys will often do with their toys.  Its next owner was a homeless man who was in search of food and shelter, who used it to create a mighty meal once a day.  He ate like a king but it eventually became his demise as he became morbidly obese and died.  The third owner of the urn discovered its magical properties and used it to aid his people.  He build a sanitary water supply, helped to create orchards for a food supply and commerce, and more.

What comes natural in this world is ‘what is in it for me’ attitudes and actions?  The third man was not a consumer nor selfish with his blessings.  He is a contributor; a giver.  Are you a giver or a taker?  Something to consider during this Christmas season as we consider the lives we influence at work and at home.

For your colleagues at work throw in some grace for good measure.  Granted, some are driven purely by ego or power, but most of the time when you disagree it’s just because of different perspectives or value systems.  It’s not that somebody is right or wrong even if there is a good, better, best scenario.  It’s not that they are evil or stubborn, they may just be different than you in how they’d approach a need or situation.  All too often I see divisions rise up where their ought be none.  They probably have an idea, just like you, a preference, just like you, and so on.  The art of the dance is figuring out how to negotiate the differences without causing offense or becoming divided in your heart.

May you be a contributor and give grace to others this Christmas.  Merry Christmas everyone!