In the book, Boomerang, Michael Lewis offers insights he gained from Grecian monks as to how they cope with surprises in their days.
After about two hours I work up the nerve to ask him. To my surprise he takes me seriously. He points to a sign he has tacked up on one of his cabinets, and translates it from the Greek: The smart person accepts. The idiot insists. He got it, he says, on one of his business trips to the Ministry of Tourism. “This is the secret of success for anywhere in the world, not just the monastery,” he says, and then goes on to describe pretty much word for word the first rule of improvisational comedy, or for that matter any successful collaborative enterprise. Take whatever is thrown at you and build upon it. “Yes…….and” rather than “No……..but.” “The idiot is bound by his pride,” he says. “It always has to be his way. This is also true of the person who is deceptive or doing things wrong: he always tries to justify himself. A person who is bright in regard to spiritual life is humble. He accepts what others tell him – criticism, ideas – and he works with them.”
Take whatever is thrown at you.....and build... Is this not the pattern of Jesus the Conqueror? Take the meager loaves and fish...and build. Take the startling screams of fear when awakened in the boat...and build. Take the widow's mite...and build. Take the Prodigal's return...and build. Take the cross timbers...and build. Take the waiting disciples in the upper room...and build.
Shall we be authentic imitators? Shall we take disappointment, interruption, heart ache (and break), loneliness, persecution...and build? Build hope?
I say Of course! After all, our Master Carpenter is in the construction business (Rom 5:1-5).