如果你需要一艘船,何不造一艘?──IF YOU ARE NEEDING A SHIP, WHY NOT JUST BUILD ONE?

MONDAY MANNA

有些人喜歡做夢。他們會說:「只要給我機會,我就能辦到!」,另一些人會說:「如果有屬於我的機會,我會如何如何完成夢想」。的確有人在「機會敲門」時大放異彩。但是,試想看看,如果機會來臨時,我們正在睡午覺、丟垃圾、或只是在追逐一些無用的嗜好呢?

我不知道是誰開始的,但是最近我讀到一個有見識的評論。還記得挪亞嗎?記載在創世記第六章上帝指派他建造一個巨大的方舟,來保護他的家人和有代表性的動物,免遭即將來臨大洪水的那位。評論的人說:「挪亞沒有等他的船進來;他建造了船。」

在我們生活的時代,有越來越多的人經常在留意哪裡有免費的午餐、免費的教育以及許多其他不用努力即可得到的福利和服務。基本上,他們在等待別人的賣力工作,提供他們自己不願意花必要的力氣去產出的資源。他們期待中樂透,但甚至連去買張彩劵都嫌麻煩。

小的時候,我的父母有點溺愛我,我也沒被教導正確的工作倫理與準則。幸運的是,我有一個叔叔,他善良而堅定地教會我:「任何事情要取得成功,都要付出努力去實現它。」成為基督徒之後,我祈求上帝祝福我的事業,同時,明白祂也希望我自己付出努力。最後我理解的結論是:「神能照著運行在我們心裏的大力充充足足地成就一切,超過我們所求所想的。」(以弗所書3章20節)

再想一想挪亞的故事。聖經學者告訴我們,根據這段經文,當時地球還沒有下雨。因此,當上帝告訴挪亞不僅要下大雨,大雨還要淹沒整個地球時,這位即將成為方舟的建造者可能有些茫然。但是挪亞確實按照命令,經由主的授權和指揮,建造了一艘巨大的船。我們也許不會被要求造一艘方舟,但是我們可能被祂要求做同樣艱鉅的事。我們會願意承接這個工作嗎?

聖經對努力工作的重要性有很多教導,特別是在追求明確目標和目的時。它提供了一些原則:

達成目標需要比作夢做的更多。許多人都有崇高的抱負,有自己想完成的事。但是,癡心妄想和許願很難把夢想變為現實。「耕種自己田地的,必得飽食;追隨虛浮的,卻是無知。」(箴言12章11節)

坐而言不如起而行。有句諺語提醒我們:「空談無用」,美好的想法需要付出代價實踐。寫下目標是一個好主意,但是訂出一個可衡量、又切實具體的計劃來實現它,並且徹底執行會更好。「諸般勤勞都有益處;嘴上多言乃致窮乏。」(箴言14章23節)

不全心付出很少會成功。有一天,我的朋友蓋瑞.海菲爾德(Gary Highfield),意識到自己原本的「想要」,為了他的家人過更好的生活,必須成為「需要」。經過了各樣的努力重新塑造自己,他轉換成為一個更有價值的工作者。他的努力得到了回報,甚至寫了一本書《當「想要」變成「需要」的時候》,這本書激勵了當今許多年輕人。「無論做甚麼,都要從心裏做,像是給主做的,不是給人做的,因你們知道從主那裏必得著基業為賞賜;你們所事奉的乃是主基督。」(歌羅西書3章23-24節)

© 2020. Robert J. Tamasy 是企業巔峰: 給今日職場從箴言而來永恆的智慧 一書的作者。也與導師之的作者David A. Stoddard 合著Tufting Legacies。編輯多本著作包括Mike Landry. Bob的書: 透過苦難成長。Mike Landry. Bob的網站為www.bobtamasy-readywriterink.com

反省與問題討論

  1. 有沒有任何的機會是你想得到的,是能夠讓你在個人或專業上成長的呢?那是什麼樣的機會?
  2. 你覺得要如何更努力追求這些機會,而不是等待它們突然出現在家門口?
  3. 當上帝指示挪亞造方舟時,你認為他可能在想什麼?你覺得要是自己會如何回應?
  4. 你認為為什麼有些人難以實現自己的夢想和抱負?如果你知道有人卡在自己的「夢想國度」中而不行動,你覺得你或任何人可以如何幫助他們去踏實築夢?

備註:如果你手上有聖經,想閱讀更多相關的經文,請參考:

創世記6章9-22節
6:9 挪亞的後代記在下面。挪亞是個義人,在當時的世代是個完全人。挪亞與 神同行。
6:10 挪亞生了三個兒子,就是閃、含、雅弗。
6:11 世界在 神面前敗壞,地上滿了強暴。
6:12  神觀看世界,見是敗壞了;凡有血氣的人在地上都敗壞了行為。
6:13  神就對挪亞說:「凡有血氣的人,他的盡頭已經來到我面前;因為地上滿了他們的強暴,我要把他們和地一併毀滅。
6:14 你要用歌斐木造一隻方舟,分一間一間地造,裏外抹上松香。
6:15 方舟的造法乃是這樣:要長三百肘,寬五十肘,高三十肘。
6:16 方舟上邊要留透光處,高一肘。方舟的門要開在旁邊。方舟要分上、中、下三層。
6:17 看哪,我要使洪水氾濫在地上,毀滅天下;凡地上有血肉、有氣息的活物,無一不死。
6:18 我卻要與你立約;你同你的妻,與兒子兒婦,都要進入方舟。
6:19 凡有血肉的活物,每樣兩個,一公一母,你要帶進方舟,好在你那裏保全生命。
6:20 飛鳥各從其類,牲畜各從其類,地上的昆蟲各從其類,每樣兩個,要到你那裏,好保全生命。
6:21 你要拿各樣食物積蓄起來,好作你和牠們的食物。」
6:22 挪亞就這樣行。凡 神所吩咐的,他都照樣行了。
箴言10章4節
10:4 手懶的,要受貧窮;手勤的,卻要富足。
箴言13章4節
13:4 懶惰人羨慕,卻無所得;殷勤人必得豐裕。
箴言16章26節
16:26 勞力人的胃口使他勞力,因為他的口腹催逼他。
箴言22章29節
22:29 你看見辦事殷勤的人嗎?他必站在君王面前,必不站在下賤人面前。
箴言27章18節
27:18 看守無花果樹的,必吃樹上的果子;敬奉主人的,必得尊榮。
傳道書9章10節
9:10 凡你手所當做的事要盡力去做;因為在你所必去的陰間沒有工作,沒有謀算,沒有知識,也沒有智慧。
以弗所書2章10節
2:10 我們原是他的工作,在基督耶穌裏造成的,為要叫我們行善,就是 神所預備叫我們行的。


IF YOU ARE NEEDING A SHIP, WHY NOT JUST BUILD ONE?

By Robert J. Tamasy

Some people like to dream. “If only I had the opportunity to show what I could do!” Others talk about what they will accomplish when “their ship comes in.” We talk about people getting their big break when “opportunity knocks.” But what if, when opportunity knocks, we are taking a nap? Taking out the trash? Or pursuing some hobby?

I don’t know who originated it, but recently I read an insightful comment. Remember Noah, the fellow in Genesis 6 whom God assigned the responsibility of building a huge ark to preserve his family and representative animals from an imminent flood? Well, as the observer pointed out, “Noah didn’t wait for his ship to come in; he built one.”

We live in a time when an increasing number of people are keeping a vigilant eye out for a free lunch, free education, and a slew of other benefits and services they have not earned. Basically, they are waiting for someone else to do the hard work, to provide the resources they are not willing to put forth the necessary effort to produce. They are expecting to win the lottery – without even going to the trouble of buying a lottery ticket.

As a young man, I had been coddled by my parents and lacked a reasonable work ethic. Fortunately, I had an uncle who kindly but firmly taught me that if you are going to succeed at anything, you will need to do the work to achieve it. After becoming a follower of Jesus Christ, I prayed for God to bless my career, but understood that He expected me to do my part as well. The result, I ultimately learned, was that God is “able to do immeasurably more than all [I could] ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20).

Think about Noah again for a moment. Biblical scholars tell us that, according to the passage, it had not yet rained on the earth up to that time. So when God informed Noah that it was going to not only rain, but also flood the entire earth, the would-be ark builder was probably a bit perplexed. But Noah did as commanded, building a ship of immense size – empowered and directed by the Lord. We might not be asked to construct an ark, but it is likely He might ask us to do something equally formidable. Are we willing to do the work?

The Bible teaches much about the importance of hard work, especially when pursuing clear-cut goals and purposes. Here are some of the principles it offers:

Goals require more than dreaming. Many of us have lofty aspirations, things we would like to accomplish. But wishful thinking and hoping is not enough to turn our dreams into reality. “He who works his land will have abundant food, but he who chases fantasies lacks judgment” (Proverbs 12:11).

Action always speaks louder than words. “Talk is cheap,” the adage reminds us, but the real expense comes in actually following through on our good intentions. Writing down goals is always a good idea, but formulating a measurable, tangible plan for accomplishing them – and then following through – is much better. “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty” (Proverbs 14:23).

Half-hearted efforts seldom succeed. One day, my friend Gary Highfield realized his “want to” – desiring a better life for his family – had to become “have to,” shaped by a variety of efforts to transform himself into a more valuable worker. His efforts paid off, and he even wrote a book, When Want To Becomes Have To, that inspires many young people today. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward” (Colossians 3:23-24).

© 2021. Robert J. Tamasy has written Marketplace Ambassadors: CBMC’s Continuing Legacy of Evangelism and Discipleship; Business at Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace; andThe Heart of Mentoring, coauthored with David A. Stoddard. Bob’s biweekly blog is: www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. Are there opportunities you would like to receive to advance yourself personally, or professionally? If so, what are they? 
  2. How do you think you could become more diligent in pursuing those opportunities, rather than waiting for them to suddenly appear at your door?
  3. What do you think Noah might have been thinking when God instructed him to build an ark? How do you think you might have responded?
  4.  Why do you think it is difficult for some people to act upon their dreams and aspirations? If you knew of someone stuck in “dreamland” rather than moving into action, how do you think you – or someone else – could help in acting upon what they have been envisioning?          

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages:
Genesis 6:9-22; Proverbs 10:4, 13:4, 16:26, 22:29, 27:18; Ecclesiastes 9:10; Ephesians 2:10



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