I was in Adelaide visiting family recently. I am one of the older members of my family now and I really enjoyed sharing stories with my siblings and lots of nephews and nieces and with the next generation.
I was reflecting on a story about the passing of knowledge and how to guide the next generation.
I recalled a story I heard many years ago.
Missionary number one is in a forest Ministering to a tribe of people in a very remote area.
An aeroplane flies overhead during a gathering with the people.
They had never seen an aeroplane before!
They are terrified! ‘It is dragon’ they say!
Next thing a coke bottle falls off the plane.
They think that ‘the dragon’ has laid an egg! They wonder if it is going to hatch.
The Missionary rushes to the coke bottle grabs it and walks back to the people.
‘I know what this is he says’.
As he approached them, they are terrified of him thinking that he is a magician or ‘possessed’! They run away from him and he loses their confidence and trust!
Missionary number two. The same thing happens. Instead of running towards the coke bottle, he runs away from it with the terrified people!
The next day they come to look at it and get a bit closer, then they lose their nerve and run away again.
Bit by bit over a period of a few days he encourages to slowly get a bit closer, a bit at a time.
Eventually, he is able to bring them to the coke bottle to explain what the bottle really is. They overcome their fear.
Patience and emotional intelligence are something that we grow into. I am certainly in need to keep growing, a work in progress!
Walking with people gently, respectfully, lovingly can go a long way.
An old Maltese saying says that a hasty cat blinds her kittens!