When a sudden gust of wind blew through the tree-framed clearing surrounding the challenge course, the phone poles supporting the tightropes we were to cross swayed like hula dancers. It was a sobering moment, especially for Tammy, who at that instant was 30 feet off the ground desperately clinging to three skinny cables strung between those swiveling poles. Though the point of this leadership exercise was to push past our fears, the whipsaw action had propelled her far beyond her threshold. So when she courageously transcended her fear, those who witnessed the victory were awed and humbled. We were also keenly aware that she probably could not have triumphed so gloriously without our coaxing, coaching and cheering.
In the weeks following the incident, Tammy's life was transformed. She became more confident and self-assured. She radiated positive energy. She even got a promotion. Not only that, our group became more cohesive. We trusted more freely. We became more effective as a team and as individuals. Tammy's victory blessed us all.
It's an amazing dynamic that's activated whenever people join together and commit to achieving a common purpose. Becoming more actively engaged in a supportive community is a powerful catalyst for enhancing life. By combining our energies, we strengthen the group and we enhance our own skills and abilities. We grow in ways that aren't possible without the synergy and connection of the group. It's true for personal relationships. It's true for social groups. It's true for business organizations. And of course, it's true for spiritual communities. Participation - in church or any worthy organization - can unleash even more of the divine power within us.
Gotta be honest, though, there's a catch: The rewards are commensurate with the energy we invest. We have to be willing to join. We have to be willing to extend ourselves past the threshold that blocks the flow of good into our lives. We have to be willing to coax and coach and cheer for others - and to let them do the same for us.
That kind of connection is a powerful channel for God's love to express in our lives -- especially if the winds of change start blowing unexpectedly.
Go for Gold