" 'Of course!' she said, 'Of course! I was just trying to think it through. Good things come, but they're never perfect; are they? You have to twist them into something perfect.'
Joe laughed. 'You have to wrestle with them,' he said. 'Like Jacob with the angel.' "
Betsy's Wedding (Lovelace)
|Jacob's Dream - Abilene Christian University|
In the biblical account (Genesis 32:22-32), Jacob wrestles all night long with the angel. Jacob turns the tables on the angel, refusing to let go until he has been blessed. Joe and Betsy are discussing a discouraging job; Joe comments that he will not let go until he, like Jacob, is blessed.
All communities suffer trials. They may be internal or external. They may be relational, directional, or economic. But these issues don't have to deadly to a community. "If the bonds of trust and respect and the sense of common direction are strong, these struggles can become temporary expressions of the communities aliveness." That's right. We can wrestle with this until becomes a positive for us. These very struggles may actually tell us that we are growing, stretching, learning. Strife impacts who we are, but it also tells us we are here! (Cultivating Communities of Practice, Wenger, McDermott, & Snyder)
Sometimes a certain idea, a prickly person, a conundrum in a community seems to be only a problem, but don't let it go until you've been blessed. Make that situation give you (and your community) a blessing. Write the story. Muddle through the idea. Sketch a solution. Gather a taskforce. What can you get from this? What can you give in this situation? How might this turn into something worthwhile?
Like Joe and Jacob, wrestle with it until it blesses you.