Ed. Note: Gayle Hilligoss, who always sends in challenging material just sent this to me. You may have read it before, but it's a great reminder to all of us during the lazy days of summer that if we aren't working with all that we have, we may not be as committed as we think we are.
A pig and a chicken were strolling through their barnyard. The chicken said, “You know, we should open a restaurant to raise some money to spruce this place up.”
“Okay. What would we serve?” asked the pig.
“I’m thinking ham and eggs,” said the chicken.
“I’ll have to prayerfully consider that,” replied the pig. “Your menu means simple participation on your part—it means total commitment for me.”
The fable of the pig and chicken has been around since at least 1950 when it appeared in Bennett Cerf’s syndicated column. It’s been tweaked countless times and told in scores of variations—I’ve told it in seminars for years—but the point is always the same: the pig and chicken represent two types: those who simply participate versus those who wholeheartedly commit.
The story, of course, can be taken many ways. But, the reason a story endures long enough to become a fable is because it speaks a common truth.
How many times have you seen this scenario played out in the church? There is a need. Some person or group (a committee, deacons, whomever) proposes a program, or event, or project of some kind. But the catch is that the personas of “pigs and chickens” are in play.
Both have much to gain from the success of the project. But only the pigs will have any real skin in the game—they will fully commit, carry the load, take the flack if things get sticky. Oh, the chickens are all good guys—willing to contribute their bits, talk the talk, even give of their renewable resources (the “eggs”), but commitment to making changes or getting things done? Not happening.
Can one be both a pig and a chicken? Not at the same time. When it comes to serving God and to taking care of the business of the church, we must choose to be passive or to be committed.
There is no middle ground.