Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got. I share this story as it was shared with me. My heart goes out to this guy. As they say, “but for the grace of God….”
“I am writing in response to your request for additional information concerning my accident. When asked as to the cause of my accident I replied, ‘Trying to do the job alone.’ I trust that the following details will clarify any questions you may have.
“I am a bricklayer by trade. I was working alone on the roof of a six-story building. I found that I had about 500 pounds of brick left over when the job was done. Rather than carry the bricks down by hand, I decided to lower them in a barrel by using a pulley which was attached to the side of the building. Securing the rope at ground level, I went up to the roof, swung the barrel out, and loaded the bricks into it.
“Then I went back to the ground and untied the rope holding it tightly to ensure a slow descent of the 500 pounds of brick. To my surprise, I was jerked off the ground so suddenly that I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope. Needless to say, I proceeded at a rather rapid rate up the side of the building.
“Around the third floor, I met the barrel on its way down. This explains the fractured skull and broken collar bone. I continued my rapid ascent, not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were two knuckles deep into the pulley. At approximately the same time, the barrel of bricks hit the ground, and the bottom fell out of the barrel.
“Devoid of the weight of the bricks, I was now heavier than the load at the other end of the rope. As you might imagine, I began a rapid descent down the side of the building. Again, near the third floor, I met the barrel on its ascent. This accounts for the bruises to my legs and lower body.
“The encounter with the barrel slowed me enough to lessen my injuries when I fell on the pile of bricks, and fortunately only three vertebrae were cracked. I am sorry to report, however, that as I lay there on the bricks in pain, unable to stand and watching the empty barrel six stories above me, I once again lost my presence of mind and let go of the rope. The empty barrel came back down on me and knocked me out.”
The moral of the story is, there are times it doesn't pay to try and go it alone. In general, life is better when team effort is involved and we help each other. So is ministry. A successful ministry is one where the work is shared by many and not placed on the few.
Sharing the load frees people up to get more work done, maximizes resources, gives experience and training to others, and allows others to take part and feel a sense of accomplishment and belonging.