Facing the Challenge

Yesterday I went to see Sue, the dental hygienist…

…Our dental practice has been without a dentist for months. There’s a national shortage. The receptionist, a pleasant young lady, explained her daily challenge… to respond to people… frustrated, angry, in pain, often abusive… who need to see a dentist but can’t. I admired her calm, cheerful approach…

…I lay back. Sue prodded, poked, scraped, cleaned, did her business… All is OK.

Bill’s Malaysian wife, Dot, learnt that her younger sister, who lives in Malaya, has leukaemia. She needs matching blood cells but no local relatives are a match… Could Dot help?

Dot faced the challenge and went to Cambridge for tests. Cambridge doctors talked to Kuala Lumpur doctors. Dot is a match. She flew to Kuala Lumpur. They’ve taken her blood. She arrives back in the UK on Sunday…

Emma Ineson describes ‘Failure’: ‘It is the contention of this book that failure is here to stay and simply seeing it as something to get over or avoid to achieve success is to misunderstand the power and potential – and reality – of failure.’

Talking about the challenge of facing up to failure to discover this ‘power and potential’ she describes ‘wholehearted’ people who ‘have the courage to be imperfect… We need to be able to fail in order to risk and innovate…’

Jabin, king of Canaan, is oppressing Israel. General Barak issues the challenge… Soldiers assemble from the tribes of Ephraim, Zebulun, Issachar, Naphtali… Helped by the prophetess Deborah and their God, Barak and the people win an important victory; there’s 40 years peace.

But where was Reuben? Deborah says: ‘In the districts of Reuben there was much searching of heart. Why did you stay among the campfires to hear the whistling for the flocks?’’ (Judges 5:15-16)

Musing… facing the challenge… the dental receptionist’s cheerful patience with angry patients… Dot’s willingness to travel round the world to help… Emma’s ‘courage to be imperfect’… or ignoring the challenge, sitting comfortably round the campfire.

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