Being of One Mind
Working with people who have a different mindset can be hard. But when we learn that we are all of one Mind - God's Mind - we can easily smooth out the differences.
After my children got banged up from falling off our trampoline and then a dear friend's daughter was injured, I knew I needed to invent a safety net that would protect trampoliners from harm. So I started JumpSport to design, produce, and sell such an enclosure.
After testing many different designs, we finally built a prototype that met or exceeded nearly all of our expectations. We had overcome so many obstacles to reach this point. Our enclosure was the first that could fit universally on any trampoline. It was light-weight and thus low cost, yet it was very strong and capable of withstanding hundreds of impacts. But we had an issue with the net breaking in a couple of non-essential spots.
The enclosure was completely safe for use, yet a few of our key team members were firmly against bringing it to market until this problem was solved. I, on the other hand, felt we had a moral imperative to get this important safety product into market with all speed. We went back and forth on this, and even though I wasn't happy with the status, I knew that we couldn't stop moving forward with the marketing and manufacturing of the enclosure.
When you have passionate people, high energy, and investors looking for results, you really can't stop the train, so you do all you can to help everyone feel that we're on the right track. I wanted people to feel unified. I wanted harmony to replace all the creative tension that had bubbled up as we all struggled to invent a product that we hoped could meet all of our expectations. I wanted to find that place of peace where everything fits, but we had this one last hurdle.
I was really praying about the situation. I was reminded of Jesus' explanation: You can't put "new wine into old bottles" because the new wine will break the bottles and you'll lose everything (Matt 9:17). So it is with our own spiritual growth. We sometimes have to change and make progress so that the inspired idea (the "new wine") has fertile ground from which to spring forth, grow, and bear fruit. Sometimes the only way to get rid of the old bottles is to go through a struggle. The metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly is a good lesson here. Sometimes you have to give until you've given it all, and then in a time of rest, the transformation occurs.
I knew there was a right idea. I just knew it. And the idea just came to me when I finally let go of the struggle and turned to God to give thanks for all we had already accomplished. It was a simple solution: add an elastic cord between the rope that connected the netting to the pole. We tested this immediately, and it worked beautifully. It provided just enough give so the netting didn't overstress and break. I was so happy.
This idea instantaneously brought harmony to the group. I felt a little like a mother wanting all her children to be happy and together. When everyone saw that the problem was solved, the creative tension that existed between the desire to get the enclosure to families quickly and the desire to hold off until we had the best possible product design was resolved.
A deep sense of peace and joy filled me up. I was so grateful to God for this inspiration and for the immediate effect it had on our espirt de corps. The problem was solved. There was no one holding back. We were all unified in purpose and moving forward together!