Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Mess of Success

Proverbs 14:4  Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.

I love this verse!

Imagine the difference in crops that you could harvest if you were doing it by hand instead of using your trusty ox.  With the ox you can direct the energy of the beast who can pull 10 times or more what you could pull on your own.  The production potential of a team of oxen is enormous compared to the potential of the strength of the same number of people.  Unfortunately, when you have oxen you have to tend them, clean up after them, and make sure their accommodation is in good nick.

So this verse is saying that, if you want to get some work done, then there is bound to be a mess to clean up as a result of the work itself; or as a result of the tools (oxen) that are available to help do the work.

We could also look at this and see that the more oxen you have, the more work you can do, but you will also have to clean up after more oxen.  There has got to be a point where you must spend more time cleaning up after the oxen than you can spend using the oxen.  This means that there is a limit to the productivity of this system.  The verse isn’t trying to focus on this though, just that there will be mess when you work.

The counter to this is that, if you don’t work there will be no mess, but you will not have anything to show for yourself.  Beware an overly clean and tidy desk!  It may mean that the owner of the desk does not use it for much work!

So it goes without saying that there will be some mess of successful production.  Get making your mess!