Weekly Sabbath Survey

Teamwork —  8-1-2015
There are many species of animals who live together in families. We call them herds, flocks, or packs. In the wild these various animals survive because of their teamwork. They all cooperate in many activities like hunting, traveling long distances, and protecting the young. With humanity, I wonder if the breakdown of family stems from our failure to keep the family working as a TEAM.
Down on the farm, there was a lot to do and the kids were expected to help. They had chores from the time they could walk and talk. School goes about 9 months a year so the kids could be at home from Planting to Harvest when field work and birthing of new livestock was at its peak. A farm family was always a TEAM. Now, each parent has their own job, each kid has their own interests and each has their own handheld devices. They do very little as a team. We live in an age that celebrates the individual. (I ‘celebrate’ the families I know who have managed to defy the odds and still do things together, and are A Family!)
Teamwork is done with a determined purpose, all participants working toward a common goal. Think of cleaning out the garage, doing Spring clean up in the yard. It would be easier and faster for Dad to do it all than to stop to show a little one how to do his small part to help. But allowing/requiring the kids to be a part provides an emotional cohesiveness. It makes them part of a family, not just Mom and Dad’s individual kids.
When I was around 12, our entire extended family worked on weekends over several months as a team to build a home for Mawmaw and Pawpaw’s retirement. It was on the pay-as-you-go plan, so when finished, free of debt. It was a cozy little cabin in the mountains. Every member of Daddy’s family, even the youngest at 8-9 years old, did some work on it. We carried, hauled, painted, nailed, and it went up board by board. We have home movies taken a different stages. What a memory! What a team we were! We were the McLaughlins. Working together, loving one another, with a common purpose, a shared goal. Honoring our elders.
I remember canning time as a child. Mama and the grandmothers usually found something for my sister and me to do. Snapping the green beans was fun. When we got tired we were cut loose, but we had been a part of an important adult activity. We could hardly wait to show Daddy and Pawpaw all the jars of beans, squash, okra and pickles lined up on the kitchen table. I also spent time as an adult with my Mawmaw in the mountains. We made plum jelly and apple butter. I learned the whole process from her, and made jelly a lot over the years, even here at Hens Acre Farm. With my first husband and the boys, The Reams family, we made a huge amount of chow-chow every fall. It was a fun time for us and we all enjoyed eating it and giving it away.
Last summer we had a garden here at Hens Acre farm. Son Ben and his wife and two kids were out here with the raking and planting. Tony worked with them, (I ‘supervised’). We were a team. We shared the work and shared the great fresh food. We got together often to see how the garden grows, and pick the produce. I think those kids got something special from that, a feeling of belonging to a pack, a herd. Kids who have a sense of family, a feeling of belonging to a team, don’t have to go off to “find themselves.” They leave home knowing who they are and they know exactly how to find their way home at Christmas!
There’s something about working together as a team that yields a greater satisfaction than our individual accomplishments. It’s how we were meant to function as a species. In the book of Hebrews, we are exhorted to push one another on to love and good works. It’s teamwork that does that. [Jesus and His followers gave us a good example of what a team can do over a couple of centuries!]
The team may be a big family that farms or raises cattle, a little family who makes a garden, a husband and wife fighting to overcome a horrific health threat, or even an entire community of people picking up the pieces after a tornado or other disaster—whatever the case, we are bonded together when we face life’s biggest challenges and share its smallest joys together as a team.
Charlene Reams Manning
Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah
Forward any WSS you feel has merit. (without changes, please)   Copyright July 2015
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