Own My Growth

Helping folks with practical tips to manage themselves better

God Comes In Different Forms

Be Open

In a village, there was once a priest managing the temple and living within the temple compound. One monsoon season, the river flowing through the village is in spate and threatens to inundate the entire village.

A young lad anticipating the calamity rushes to the temple to warn the Priest about the impending flood so that the Priest can vacate the temple and move to a safer location.

The Priest is very devout with enormous faith in GOD. He tells the lad, “Don’t worry, my GOD is there to protect me, and I am not worried. You go ahead”. The young fellow dutifully obeys and withdraws.

Soon enough, the river breaks through the banks and starts flooding the village. Everywhere in the village, including the temple compound, the water level is up to the waist level. Meanwhile, the local authorities sense that the village is in danger. They send a rescue party to look for any stranded villagers. The rescuers see the half-submerged Priest and offer to rescue him. ” Don’t worry. My GOD is there to protect me”. The Priest keeps to his faith and holds his ground. The rescuers try their best to convince the Priest, but he would not budge. They eventually leave him to his fate.

The fury of the river intensifies further. Soon, the Priest is barely able to hold his head above water by clinging onto the branch of a tree in the temple courtyard. Just then, a floating log passes by. The Priest has the choice to let go of the branch and get on to the floating log. He chooses not to by saying to himself, “It’s Ok. My GOD is there to protect me”.

Unfortunately, the flood is savage. The Priest is no longer able to hold onto the branch. The raging waters drag him away and he dies. The Priest’s soul then accosts GOD and asks, “Dear GOD, I worshipped you all my life and kept my faith in you. Why did you not come to save me?”

God is exasperated. ” I came to rescue you three times. First, as a lad to warn you to get to safety. Second, as a rescue party in a boat. Third, as Floating Log for you to hold on and swim to safety. You were too engrossed looking for your version of GOD that you failed to notice ME come as a boy, as the rescue party, and as the log. What more could I do to make you notice me? “

This is a story I must have told my kids multiple times to drive home one essential message.

All of us have a notion of what the problem is and what the solution should be. We end up with a fixed mindset and miss noticing the signals and messages that we keep getting to solve the problem differently. The problem persists. We complain and whine.

  • You are not invited to a series of product ideation meetings. Maybe there is a message there for you. Your work is sub-par. You ignore the signal and think everything is ok.”
  • You get a chance to meet a domain expert in a social setting. But you are too self-engrossed, and you don’t attempt to connect. You miss an opportunity to learn and improve.
  • Your boss asks you to work on a presentation. You think it is easy and wait until the last minute to submit your work. You have an opportunity to work ahead of time and deliver an outstanding presentation, but you miss the chance and deliver something pedestrian.   

GOD(Opportunity, Solution, Mentor, Time, or Anything else that can create value for us) comes in different forms and shapes to help us grow and develop. Unfortunately, like the priest, we are stuck in our little ego cocoons. We miss noticing the little signs and the opportunities that pass by. We wait for the perfect GOD to appear.

Faith in GOD and recognizing GOD are two different things. It is in your power to recognize the GOD present in all opportunities and signals. GOD can’t help you if you are unwilling to help yourself. You just need to tune in with an open mind.

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