Posted by: Botolff | April 1, 2009

Just out of reach

Soda Fountain So I was standing in line at Arby’s to get lunch today.  Gotta love the two toasted subs for $5 coupon.  Right in front of me were Phil and his mom.  Phil is a spry young boy about 6 years old, and a year too short to reach the soda fountain.  His mom was a patient woman, and caring enough to give Phil a boost.  Why?  Because he asked for it, of course.  Phil’s first attempt to reach the root-beer on his own left him clicking the edge of the paper cup on the very tip of the dispenser wand, never getting a single drop to quench his craving.  After a couple attempts at jumping up and banging his cup against the machine trying to get it to work, Phil’s mom said, “Don’t do that Phil.  I’ll get it for you in a minute.”  Phil’s reply was a classic little boy response.  He said “Can you lift me up so I can get it?”  And that she did.  Way to go mom!

We all need a little boost sometimes.  Many times we don’t need people to do it for us, just a little help.  What we need are people who are going to support us, not be threatened by our questions or sense of adventure, or are going to be embarrassed because we want to try something new.  We need to be able to speak up when something isn’t working, or we want a different result.  We also need to have people around us who will help keep us accountable for what it is that we are trying to accomplish so as to not do unnecessary harm in the process.  But also people who are going to let us fail without punishing us for trying.

Any thoughts on how this plays itself out in ministry, or how it could affect forced terminations?



  1. Communication – especially in difficult times – is pretty poor in the churches I have been a part of. To be able to call a spade what it is, usually means angering some people, and we try to avoid that as much as possible.

    So, I think most of the problem is a lack of courage. If you want the root beer, you need to speak up. We in the church apparently don’t want it that badly.

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