The bare necessities

Body Builder

by Terry Camsey, Major – 

One thing about being a grandparent is that you see developing children in a totally different way—the more so if, as a father, your time with your own children was limited due to work and other demands.

What I am really enjoying are the Baby Einstein™ teaching videos and especially observing which in particular resonate with my grandson. One of his (and my) current favorites is Baby Newton™—Discovering Shapes.
As I was watching it again the other day, for the umpteenth time, it brought to mind something that I had learned of, and been fascinated by, many years ago—that the shape of everything in this world is composed only of straight lines or curves. Look around for yourself and you’ll see what I mean.

That in turn reminded me again that the bare necessities (essentials if you like) of any business can be reduced to what are termed Critical Success Factors. These are the things that are individually indispensable to success, and together collectively adequate.

I guess another reason these thoughts came together was that, recently, I had read in Salvationist that—in a retirement interview (also referred to in a recent column of Body Builder) —General John Larsson (R) prayed, “May God give us much wisdom as we seek to distinguish between the peripheral things, which we can dispense with, and the things that make us what we are—which we must never lose.”

As I have written elsewhere, the danger is rather like that of throwing out the “baby with the bathwater.” The baby being, of course essential, and the bathwater a dispensable commodity whose only value is to keep the baby clean and healthy.

The “baby” for the Army is, surely, the bare necessities—the essentials without which we should cease to effectively be that for which we were raised—the factors absolutely critical to our success in doing what we were raised to do and being what we were raised to be.

The “bathwater” being, perhaps, the methods and trappings of the movement designed to fulfill the purposes for which we were created. A “bathwater” that frequently needs to change if those purposes are to be accomplished with excellence.

Once the “baby” has been defined in its basic essentials, we may be freed up to continue to develop new methods and trappings that will help us to keep the “baby” in pristine condition for many years—hopefully until Jesus returns to claim his Kingdom.

Unfortunately, while General Larsson (R) has reminded us more than once in the printed word that we need to distinguish between the peripheral things—the “bathwater” (which we can dispense with, or at least change once in a while) and the things that make us what we are, it is amazing that no one has yet done this for the guidance of the Army. We should not forget either that “babies,” whether human or the early stage of any other organism—including the church—should be expected to grow, develop and mature as in all of nature. It is not natural for any baby to stay a baby forever.

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