Sunday, July 08, 2012

Facing Up To Life: Problems and Possibilities

shoes

Numbers 13: 17-20, 30-31
Then Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said to them, “Go up this way into the South, and go up to the mountains, and see what the land is like: whether the people who dwell in it are strong or weak, few or many; whether the land they dwell in is good or bad; whether the cities they inhabit are like camps or strongholds; whether the land is rich or poor; and whether there are forests there or not. Be of good courage. And bring some of the fruit of the land.” Now the time was the season of the first ripe grapes.
Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.

It is certainly true that the main difference between people is not the facts they face but the interpretation they give to the facts. A shoe company employed two salesmen and sent them to a remote village to market their products. When they got there they discovered that the villagers have never seen shoes nor used one. The first salesman sent a telex message to his headquarters saying “the villagers have never seen shoes and have never used one. There is no possibility of business” The second salesman also sent a telex to the headquarters saying “the villagers have never seen shoes and have never used one. What a great potential for unlimited business.” They both saw the same thing but gave them different interpretations. The difference is how they looked at the facts before them.