Meet Steve. Steve is a rock. Steve is an island. He’s always been this way, well before Simon and Garfunkel wrote a song about him. Steve loves the idea of being self-sufficient. He loves to be the go-to guy and never the guy going-to someone else. Steve will receive an assignment at work, church or at home and go at it with all his might. Any difficulty in accomplishing his assigned task only motivates him more toward meeting the challenge head-on and tackling it with all his might. Steve does not like to ask for help. He sees admitting he needs help as a sign of weakness, inability and dependence upon something else other than himself. Sometimes Steve get’s himself in a real pickle. Some of Steve’s assignments spin wildly out of control. Some crash and burn. The ones that go horribly wrong can always be traced back to being the ones he tried to do all by himself, in complete isolation from the help and advice of others.
Meet Bob. Bob is a sponge. He wears normal pants, unlike his cartoon friend with a similar name. Bob loves people. He loves to socialize. He loves to talk, ask questions and be around others so much so that when he is given an assignment at work, church or at home, it’s usually only a matter of minutes before he’s calling for help. Sometimes, what others may feel is a relatively simple task, Bob is quickly overwhelmed by. He almost never hesitates to be in his co-worker’s cubicle for assistance. He’s guaranteed to call or write his Pastor or Deacon for help with, sometimes, the most trivial matters during the week. He can often be heard calling for aid from his wife and children around the house. When the going gets tough, Bob gets going…to others…every time. His friends and family, though reasonable folks, often battle thoughts and feelings of frustration with Bob. They fight hard to not roll their eyes when he comes into the room, often exasperated with him at every turn.
These aren’t actual individuals I’m thinking of. More like different sides to all of us. I see myself as Steve the Rock and Bob the Sponge at different seasons and different places in my own life all the time. I can sometimes be so self-focused that I don’t think to (or worse, refuse to) ask for help and depend upon others. At other times, I’m the sponge – not giving tasks my whole effort and too quickly passing them along to others when I need to get them done myself.
Don’t be Steve all the time. Reach out, divide the labor, work as a team with others, learn, grow.
Don’t be Bob all the time either. Suck it up sometimes, work hard, sweat, try, learn and grow.