因等待获益
大耳朵英语  http://www.bigear.cn  2008-08-22 10:31:17  【打印
THE BENEFITS OF WAITING – AS LONG AS IT TAKES

By Robert D. Foster

Phillips Brooks, a former Boston pastor, when asked to give a reason for his obvious agitation, replied: “I’m in a hurry, but God isn’t.”

That comment reminded me of an article in the National Geographic magazine, March 1996, called “Emperor of the Ice.” The article made an incredible statement: “In the dead of the Antarctic winter, these regal birds nurture their young through relentless blizzards, oppressive darkness, and months of killing cold that drops as low as minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit.” (Experts assure me that was very cold!)

The female penguin lays one egg right on top of the ice. She then immediately goes off to eat and visit her friends, but not before her mate, the Emperor, climbs atop the egg, and instantly assumes total responsibility for incubating the egg and its contents.

And sit he does. The Emperor squats on the egg for nine full weeks, enduring two months of the harshest conditions known anywhere on the face of the earth. This male penguin waits instinctively; not really knowing why, other than instinct tells him to do it. Up to 400,000 Emperor penguins do this every year – they sit, and sit, and sit on that softball-sized egg for 65 days. During that time, the article said, he is losing between one-third and fully half of his body weight.

The bird’s endurance pays off. Eventually, his beloved empress returns. “Under the gaze of the starved father, the mother feeds the chick all sorts of goodies but not giving dad a morsel. He must find his own fast-food outlet which can be from fifty to one hundred miles away across the ice fields. No good-bye hug or kiss for the Emperor.” His maximum “cruising” peed? Half a mile an hour! Dinner won’t be coming for quite a while!

Perhaps we cannot relate to the severe conditions enduring by the Emperor penguin, but each of us knows what it means to sit on our own versions of ice and egg. They may be some very good ideas, plans or creative action that can only be hatched by spending the necessary time to squat on our “egg.”

There is a wonderful principle we can learn from this amazing birds that exert such perseverance because they don’t know any better. I find this principle expressed very well in this passage from the Bible: “We need to stick it out, staying with God’s plan, so we’ll be there for the promised completion. We’re not quitters who lose out. Oh, no! We’ll stay with it and survive, trusting all the way” (Hebrews 10:36-38).

We live in a society – and a world – that places high value on being able to keep busy. The more we keep moving around, the more projects we seem to be engaged in simultaneously, the more productive we are – the thinking goes – and therefore, the better business and professional people we must be. It sounds good and true. But if we take a lesson from the Emperor penguin, we know it is not necessarily true. Beware of the barrenness of busyness.

One time I saw a young man rushing around, his mind obviously occupied by a mass of projects and ideas. “Where are you going?” I asked him. “I don’t know,” he replied, “but I am getting there very quickly!” I heard someone else state it this way: “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.” Do not be seduced into that trap. Activity does not necessarily equal productivity, especially when it is frantic and on the verge of being out of control.

等待获益 -- 祇因需要

波士顿一位牧师菲利浦•布鲁克斯,当别人问他为什么看起来焦虑不安,他回答道:「我很急,但上帝不急!」

他这句话让我想到1996年3月份国家地理杂志上的一篇文章,标题是「冰上的国王」。这篇文章描绘出令人难以置信的景象:「在南极冬天萧条的日子里,这些高贵的国王企鹅孵育着他们的孩子,历经无情的暴风雪、难以忍受的黑暗和几个月的酷寒。那里的温度会降至华氏零下70度。」(专家们保证这是非常的冷!)

母企鹅把一颗蛋直接产在冰上。然后就立刻离开去吃东西并拜访朋友。但公企鹅在母企鹅尚未离开前,就爬到这颗蛋上,立刻担负起孵蛋的责任。

公企鹅匍匐在蛋上整整9个星期,忍受2个月全世界最酷寒的气候。公企鹅本能地等待,他自己也不确知为何这么作,只是本能叫他这么作。每年有高达400,000只国王企鹅如此作——他们一直坐,一直坐,一直坐在那像软式棒球大小的蛋上65天。那篇文章说,在这段期间公企鹅的体重会减少三分之一到二分之一。

最后企鹅的坚忍付出,得回代价,他心爱的皇后企鹅终于回来了。就在这饥饿父亲的注视下,企鹅妈妈把许多好东西喂给小企鹅吃,却一口也没有给企鹅爸爸吃。公企鹅必须越过结冰区走50到100哩之外去找食物吃。他的家人并没有给他一个临别拥抱或亲吻。而他的最快划行速度是多少?每小时半哩而已。所以还要一段时间后才有晚餐!

可能我们无法理解国王企鹅所忍受的严酷环境与我们有何关联,但我们每一个人都知道在冰上孵育自己的蛋代表什么意思。这个蛋可能是一些非常好的点子、计划,或有创意的行动。而这些是需要花费时间匍匐在「蛋」上才能被孵育出来。

我们可以从这神奇的国王企鹅学到一个很棒的原理,就是发挥坚忍的毅力,因为他们知道没有什么方法比这更好。我发现圣经中的一段经文也将此原理描述得很好:「你们必须忍耐,使你们行完了神的旨意,就可以得着所应许的。因为还有一点点时候,那要来的就来,并不迟延。只是义人必因信得生,他若退后,我心里就不喜欢他」(希伯来书10章36-38节)。

我们所居住的社会(和世界)认为保持忙碌是高尚的。我们愈忙,就好像同时从事更多事业,我们就更有生产力--照这思想逻辑推论--所以我们一定是较优秀的工商专业人士。这听起来很好,也好像是真的。但我们若从国王企鹅身上学到了功课,就知道这不一定是真的。要谨防徒劳而无益。

有一次我看到一位年轻人忙得团团转,显然心中有一大堆计划和点子。我问他:「你要去那里?」他回答:「我不知道,但我可以很快到达那里!」我听过另一个人说:「我走得愈快,我落后得就愈多。」不要被诱惑跌落了陷阱。活动量与生产力不一定能画上等号,尤其当这活动处在忙乱又失控的边缘。

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