Half term, the boys off school, and we headed to the zoo. Not one of the really big names, but big enough to have lions, zebras, snow leopards, cheetahs, and fabulous café that allows you sit and watch the tigers really close-up. This is a place where the tigers do come for tea.
And I got to thinking, what could I learn about leadership from a zoo?
As I mulled it over, and I watched the staff hosing down the camel enclosure – it dawned on me: it’s possible to have an immaculate zoo, but the price would be that it wouldn’t have any animals in it, human or otherwise. An immaculate zoo would be something like the Natural History Museum. At night.
But a living, breathing zoo has noise, smell, and constant demands for food.
Now before anyone complains that I’m being very rude about churches here, (a) I didn’t mention church, you did, and (b) the Bible got there ahead of me.
Consider Proverbs 14:4 – ‘Where there are no oxen the manger is empty, but from the strength of an ox comes an abundant harvest.’
So a clean farm is like a clean zoo – possible, but the price is that it is sterile.
A living, working farm, on the other hand, has animals, fodder, mucking out and all the other by-products – including more harvest. And that’s what the farmer wants.
So the next time you’re grumbling about the number of emails/appointments/meetings/funerals/services/sermons/ conversations, remember the alternative.
Life brings work and mess.