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從挪亞方舟學習生活和工作

LESSONS FOR LIFE AND WORK – FROM NOAH’S ARK

(2020/09/17)

老實說,2020年開始時,你的年度目標是否包含:「在新冠病毒大流行期間要做的事情?」如果有,我希望你能給我一些到火星旅行的建議。在今年初,沒有人知道新冠肺炎會爆發,甚至肆虐全球。

這個史無前例的狀況,以及我們所有人的應對過程,讓我想起另一場我們未能親身經歷的全球危機。

你還記得挪亞方舟的故事嗎?《舊約》創世紀6到9章記錄了這個事件。故事的開頭是:「耶和華見人在地上罪惡很大。」(創世記6章5節)當時,上帝對人類的邪惡深惡痛絕,決定用全球性的洪水把人類從地上抹除淨盡。但是挪亞是「義人,在當時的世代是個完全人」,因此「在耶和華眼前蒙恩」。(創世記6章8-9節) 

因此,主決定留存挪亞及其家人的性命,指示挪亞建造一艘龐大的方舟,並帶著各種動物和鳥類的一對「代表」進入方舟,以利之後繼續在地球繁衍後代。這個故事和疫病大流行有什麼關係?我發現可以從挪亞方舟的故事學到生命所需的一切功課,包含面對日常憂慮和流行疫情的方法。以下是摘要:

1)不要錯過登船的機會。當機會臨到我們時,尤其是那些能夠避免重大問題的機會,我們要迅速做出回應。
2)要記住:我們都在同一條船上。這句話耳熟能詳,富裕人家特別常掛在嘴邊。但這個道理確鑿無疑——這場疫情影響了我們所有人。
3)提前計劃、超前部署。挪亞開始建造方舟時並沒有下雨。同樣的,2020年初我們並不知道會有疫情大流行。但有智慧的人總有B或C計畫,以備不時之需。
4)保持身體健康狀態。當你60歲時,也許會有人希望你做某些大事。因此,我建議你照顧好自己,為將來的需要做準備。如果你是60歲,甚或已超過,請你繼續保持好的狀態!
5)不要去聽批評的聲音,只要繼續完成工作有許多人反對挪亞,質疑他為什麼要造方舟,但他堅持了下來。當人們質疑你縝密的準備工作時,請繼續前進。
6)把未來建築在高地。無論是傳染病、經濟衰退或是意外的個人危機,把自己放在應對風暴的最佳位置。
7)為了安全起見,結伴同行上帝指示挪亞帶進方舟的動物都是成對的。在工作場所以及家庭中,建議你和能一起分擔壓力與實際工作的人組隊而行。
8)速度並不總是優勢。蝸牛和獵豹同在一個方舟上。如果要完成高品質的工作,快速完成未必是最好的辦法。
9)感到壓力時,放鬆漂浮一下開始下雨後,挪亞就只能等待狂風暴雨過去。有時在危機當中,這也是我們唯一能做的。
10) 方舟是業餘人士造的;鐵達尼號卻是專家做的。所謂的「專家」未必總是能解答所有問題。如果你被上帝呼召去做某件事,不用擔心自己資格不夠。
11) 任憑暴風肆虐,當上帝與你同在時,總會有彩虹等待現在我們正處在全球性的巨大風暴中。沒有人知道還要多久才會停?但是我們相信上帝與我們同在,直到最後一刻。

Ken Korkow居住在美國內布拉斯加州的奧馬哈市,他擔任該地的CBMC區域總監。本篇文章改編自他的「生活傳真」專欄。經許可使用。

備註:如果你手上有聖經,希望閱讀更多相關經文,請參考:
箴言3章5-6節
3:5 你要專心仰賴耶和華,不可倚靠自己的聰明,
3:6 在你一切所行的事上都要認定他,他必指引你的路。
箴言16章3節
16:3 你所做的,要交託耶和華,你所謀的,就必成立。
箴言27章17節
27:17 鐵磨鐵,磨出刃來;朋友相感(原文是磨朋友的臉)也是如此。
傳道書4章9-12節
4:9 兩個人總比一個人好,因為二人勞碌同得美好的果效。
4:10 若是跌倒,這人可以扶起他的同伴;若是孤身跌倒,沒有別人扶起他來,這人就有禍了。
4:11 再者,二人同睡就都暖和,一人獨睡怎能暖和呢?
4:12 有人攻勝孤身一人,若有二人便能敵擋他;三股合成的繩子不容易折斷。
羅馬書6章13-14節
6:13 也不要將你們的肢體獻給罪作不義的器具;倒要像從死裏復活的人,將自己獻給 神,並將肢體作義的器具獻給 神。
6:14 罪必不能作你們的主;因你們不在律法之下,乃在恩典之下。
希伯來書13章5節
13:5 你們存心不可貪愛錢財,要以自己所有的為足;因為主曾說:「我總不撇下你,也不丟棄你。」

反省與問題討論
第一、你最近如何應對流行疫病和隨之而來的一些限制?你是否有時會感受到排山倒海而來的壓力和憂慮?你如何自處?
第二、你對挪亞方舟的故事還有什麼印象?
第三、本文所列出從諾亞方舟學到的經驗教訓中,哪一點對你來說最重要?請解釋你的答案。
第四、這些「經驗教訓」能如何幫助你面對未來的問題,這包含:流行疫病持續延燒、經濟不景氣,和「正常」生活被迫中斷,甚或面臨其他類型的遭遇?

 

MONDAY MANNA
September 14, 2020

LESSONS FOR LIFE AND WORK – FROM NOAH’S ARK
By Ken Korkow

 

Be honest: When 2020 started, did your list of goals include: “Things to do during the coronavirus pandemic”? If you did, I would like your advice on scheduling a trip to Mars. At the start of the year, none of us knew anything about COVID-19 or its global ramifications.

However, in reflecting about these unprecedented circumstances and how we all have tried to cope with them, I was reminded of another global crisis – one that none of us was present to experience.

Do you remember the story about Noah’s Ark? It is recounted in chapters 6-9 of the Old Testament book of Genesis. It begins, “The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth” (Genesis 6:5). God was so grieved by the evil of mankind at the time that he decided to remove all of mankind from the earth by causing a global flood. However, Noah was described as “a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time” and he “found favor in the eyes of God” (Genesis 6:8-9).

Because of this, the Lord chose to spare Noah and his family. Noah was instructed to build a massive Ark and fill it with “representatives” from every kind of animal and bird to repopulate the earth. What does this have to do with the pandemic? I mention it because I have concluded that everything I need to know about life, whether dealing with everyday concerns or surviving a pandemic, I learned from Noah's Ark. Here is a summary of those things:

 

1.Do not miss the boat. When opportunities present themselves to us, especially for avoiding a major problem, we need to respond – and quickly.
2.Remember that we are all in the same boat. We have heard this repeated, especially by people from luxurious, well-stocked homes. But it is true – the pandemic has affected us all.
3.Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark.Similarly, there was no pandemic that we were aware of when 2020 began. But wise people always have a plan B, or C, if needed.
4.Stay fit. When you are 60 years old, someone may ask you to dosomething really big.So be advised to take care of yourself for future demands. And if you are already 60 or older, keep fit!
5.Do not listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done. Noah had many detractors, wondering why he was building an Ark. But he persevered. When people question your well-considered preparations, just keep moving forward.
6.Build your future on high ground. Whether it is a pandemic, an economic downturn, or unexpected personal crisis, position yourself to weather the storm.
7.For safety's sake, travel in pairs. Many of the animals God directed Noah to bring into the Ark came in twos. In the workplace, as well as the family, it is always advisable to team with others who can share the pressures as well as the actual work.
8.Speed is not always an advantage. The snails were aboard the ark with the cheetahs. In doing a quality job, trying to complete it quickly is not always the best approach,
9.When you are stressed, float for a while. Once the rains started, Noah could not do much more than wait for the storm to pass. In times of crisis, that is sometimes our only alternative, too.
10.The Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals. So-called “experts” do not always have all the answers. If you are called by God to do a job, do not worry if you feel unqualified.
11.No matter the storm, when you are with God, there's always a rainbow waiting. We are now in a great global storm. No one knows for how long. But we can trust God is with us, even to the end.

Ken Korkow lives in Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.A., where he serves as an area director for CBMC. This is adapted from his “Fax of Life” column. Used with permission.

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Reflection/Discussion Questions

 
1.How have you been dealing with the virus pandemic and restrictions that have followed? Have you at times felt overwhelmed by stress and worry? How have you dealt with that?
 
2.What do you recall about the story of Noah and the Ark?
 
3.As you read the list of things that can be learned from Noah’s Ark, which of them seem most important to you? Explain your answer.


4. How can these “lessons” help you in the future, whether it is dealing with ongoing effects of the pandemic, the sagging economy and a disruption of “normal” life, or in confronting some other type of problem?




NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages:

Proverbs 3:5-6, 16:3, 27:17; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; Romans 6:13-14; Hebrews 13:5