January 14, 2019

The Lesson of the Chinese Finger Trap

Brian Eno

Do you behave different when you’re in a hurry, versus when you are not in a hurry?
I know for me when I’m feeling hurried, I become impatient, distracted and uncompassionate.
Not too long ago I read a book, a mentor recommended, titled An Unhurried Leader. In the book the author Alan Fadling used an old childhood toy called The Chinese Finger Trap as an example of how to respond when we become hurried and anxious.
Do you remember this childhood toy? It’s a toy made of thin bamboo like paper that when a child puts his fingers inside and pulls, the trap tightens on each of the fingers, keeping them from escaping. Without thinking, the child’s instinct is to get out of the trap, so they pull harder. But the harder they pull, the tighter the trap becomes. To escape the trap, the child needs to do the opposite of what they assume is right; instead of pulling they simply need to push their fingers towards each other. When they do this, it will loosen the trap enough to extricate their tiny little fingers.
When you get into hurried, anxious situations, how do you respond? Are you like the child, trying harder and harder, only to find life getting even more hurried and tighter? Hard work and effort are good, but they will never be good enough.

Rather during those times, we must heed the word of the Lord recorded in the book of Isaiah, “This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength” (Isaiah 30:15)

When we get into a hurried, anxious place in our lives, we must learn from the Lord and this child’s toy; to do the opposite of what we would normally do impulsively. We must Repent, Rest, be Quiet, and Trust.
Next month is our NextGen Fusion Leadership Conference. This is a weekend designed just for NextGen Pastors and Leaders to escape their busy schedules. This is the perfect time and place to repent, rest, be quiet, and trust in our Lord. I hope you will make the time to slow down and join us in Salem.

Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD Almighty. (Zachariah 4:6)

Oregon Ministry Network

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