Please welcome my friend, Chris Vonada for the next in his series on the building blocks of relationships. Go to his site www.chrisvonada.com to learn more about Chris, his books and his writing ministry. Visit him often.
I was reading an interesting book recently, "The Macintosh Way" by Guy Kawasaki. Guy was the Chief Evangelist with Apple's Macintosh Division back in the early days of this computer's development. Guy is an interesting and entertaining person, and he writes an excellent book about how to engage with the various people that you will encounter in the business world. The meat and potatoes of this book is doing business the Macintosh way, served up on two plates: Doing things right, and doing the right thing.
The history of how the venerable Mac came about is a pretty remarkable story. The computer was designed and produced for market without any software. Sounds crazy? Check it out, The Macintosh Way works! Apple provided a platform for creative people to work in. Their business model works because it empowered people to do what they do best... create. Apple didn't tell people what to create or how to do it, they simply provided a better tool to accomplish the task at hand. The Mac is simply a tool to achieve.
So what does all of that have to do with relationships, and particularly support? Everything!
"The best allies work freely and enthusiastically with you because they believe in your dream. The worthless ones want to be paid for their efforts. If someone doesn't believe in your dream enough to take a risk, he will fail you anyway." GK.
The most incredible part of The Macintosh Way is they accomplished taking a new, unknown computer to a top seller, enlisting a group of volunteers to develop the software for their product with virtually no internal support structure. They didn't enlist a cadre of support personnel and engineers to help out. Instead, they relied on user groups to serve this function. The user groups were established outside the Apple bubble. The people creating with the Macintosh started sharing information and knowledge freely as they encountered a need, fulfilling an important service to the Apple community. Cumulatively, we all benefited and learned a new way.
Speaking of "The Way," Jesus says in the Bible that He is "The way, the truth and the life". John 14:6
In the book of Acts, the movement of believers in Jesus became known as The Way. There weren't any "Christians" back then, only The Way. There was just one way. As far as Jesus is concerned, there is still only one way. Pretty cool!
Remember, God didn't put us all here to walk through life alone. As a body of believers we work together to help support each other's needs. Maybe think of your small group as a user group. They serve to facilitate and support you in your relationships. Trouble in your marriage? Lean in on your user group. They're there for a reason. Accountability? A user group will help you stay on track. Need help when you're sick or your car breaks down? That's what friends are for, right? A good user group or circle of friends will help to keep you moving forward in the right direction.
Support functions to take us to a place far beyond where we could go individually. When I think of support my first thought is helping someone in need. The Macintosh support groups pioneered answering the question before I ever even asked it. How? Well, if I was an applications developer I would be able to go to the support community, describe the issue that I was facing and generally find someone who had encountered a similar issue, and they either provided assistance in real time, or I would find the solution posted in a community board. The uber (Deutsch) cool thing about life is that we're not on the learning curve. Somewhere in the body of believers that connect us together we can find someone with wisdom that is relevant to our issue. Someone who can guide us through it. I like that.
Final thought there for today... In our closest relationships, marriage, for example, we can achieve way more together than we ever could individually. How? Well, consider a couple that identifies their strengths and weaknesses. For instance, suppose that I'm really good at and enjoy cooking (I would like to think so!) while you're really thrive on and are excellent at planning. If I leave the planning up to you and you leave the cooking up to me we're both way happy and achieving awesomeness. While we technically may not individually need support to cook and plan, whenever we work together God's hand is in the mix and we're making beautiful music together (or cake, vacation plans, or whatever else we want to make). You catching my drift...