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The Power of Collective Purpose

March 19, 2019

On a rural road in Texas, a man drove his car into a ditch. He was out of town, so he didn’t know where he was or who to call. Thankfully, a local farmer came walking by and happened to have his horse named Buddy. The farmer offered to help the man and hitched Buddy up to the car. He yelled, “Pull, Nellie, pull!” Not surprisingly, Buddy didn’t budge.

Then the farmer cried, “Pull, Buster, pull!” Buddy didn’t move an inch.

Again the farmer called out a different name: “Pull, Coco, pull!”

Still nothing.

Then the farmer finally said, “Pull, Buddy, pull!” And the horse bore his hooves into the dirt, pulled as hard as he could, and moved the car out of the ditch.

The man who had the car accident was grateful, but he was also kind of confused. So he asked the farmer why he called his horse by three different names before calling him “Buddy”.

The farmer explained, “You see, ole Buddy is blind. If he thought he was the only one pulling, he wouldn’t pull worth a flip.”

I recently heard this simple little story, and I love it. It’s a vivid and compelling illustration of the power of teamwork. It challenges us (me especially) that we can’t go it alone. Here are two reasons why:

  1. We need other people. We were not meant to live alone, and we won’t function well in our God-given roles and responsibilities without the encouragement, camaraderie, and connection of other people.
  2. When we work with other people, our efforts are amplified. When everyone is pulling in the same direction, we pull harder. Our individual contribution is greater and more fulfilling when we connect it to a collective purpose that’s bigger than ourselves.

Today, take a moment to recognize the people around you. Remember that when we work together our efforts are more effective. And intentionally work together with others create something extraordinary.

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