Dig It

It’s infuriating when someone takes claim/credit for your hard work.

Right?

You put all this time into a concept or project, only for your boss/co-worker/competitor to take all the credit—as if the idea was theirs alone.

Over lunch you casually discuss client strategies and marketing ideas with a colleague, only to discover a week later that your colleague has a new relationship with your client or is using your idea for their gain.

Your aunt brings a dish to the potluck and receives all the glory for a recipe you gave her a year ago—and like vinegar to a wound, it’s a recipe you created.

You and your sibling go in together on flowers for mom—months later you find out they neglected (forgot?) to put your name on the card.

All summer you’ve been talking at the work lunch-table about a jacket you’re going to get this fall. And on the first barely-cold-enough-fall day, your co-worker waltzes in wearing the very jacket you’ve been dreaming about.

You’ve been had, ripped off, and it’s not fair. As I see it you’ve got a few choices:
1)      Fight;
2)      Flight; or
3)      Dig It.

FIGHT
I’ve done the fight thing several times. Bet you have too. It rarely works, right? In fact an unfair issue becomes even more unfair as you start looking like an unreasonable person making mountains out of molehills. In an ironic twist of circumstances the offender becomes the peacemaker and we… the trouble-maker.

Now I’ll admit, sometimes you must fight. But we’ve got to pick our battles wisely. I wish I knew who to credit this brilliant phrase that sums it up:  It doesn’t make sense to put $10 worth of energy on a 10-cent problem. Wow! It makes good “cents” (sense) to determine if it’s a 10-cent issue before wasting your time and energy.

FLIGHT (flee)
Ahh, the flight tactic to conflict. Basically in this circumstance, it equates to being a doormat. Sorry did that sting?

Actually there are times to take flight when someone else steals your credit. Maybe you’ve done the fight thing, and it turned out really bad. Or perhaps you’re not a confrontational person. Many of us would rather flee a conflict than take a stand. Either way, you’re not making waves. You’re keeping the peace. Often when it comes to “who deserves the credit”—it’s a bone not worth picking. You drop this issue and never revisit it again.

This is fine if you’re dealing with a one-time 10-cent issue. But if the matter, matters—or the cents are adding up into big bucks then look out. One day the accumulated flight-behavior will catch up with you. It could be a melt-down, break-down, eruption, or heart-attack. One way to fight your flight is the last idea:

DIG IT
“Dig It” is my new favorite. And I credit the idea to Isaac (see I’m giving credit where credit is due).  When I think of “Dig It” it also equates to what Winston Churchill famously said, “Never, never, never quit.”

Churchill used three nevers… and Isaac “dug it” three times. Here’s the story:

Buried into Genesis 26 is a short retelling of Isaac (the same kid who almost literally got the “axe” from his dad, Abraham).

Isaac is a grown man, doing really well. I mean really well. In fact we’re told, “Isaac planted crops…and the same year reaped a hundredfold…the man became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy…he had so many flocks and herds and servants that the Philistines envied him.”

Philistine King Abimelek is one of the envious, and he tells Isaac to take a hike! Isaac is too much of a mega-mogul for Abimelek’s ego.

For whatever reason Isaac took flight and didn’t fight. Isaac gets the super-mega-combo-pack of boxes from U-Haul and moves on out to the Valley of Gerar. A desert-y sandy place. And orders his hired help to dig a water-well for his family, posse, and flocks / herds / servants.

Between you and me: digging a well in the desert sounds…ridiculous.

Regardless, Isaac’s servants dug and found water. Woo Hoo! Time to settle in and start building up the wealth again! But the herders of Gerar quarreled with Isaac and said, “Hey! That water is ours!”

They laid claim to Isaac’s hard work. Not just once – but THREE times.

See, after the first water-well, Isaac’s crew dug another well, but again the herders quarreled and laid claim to that water too. So, Isaac dug one more time. Third time’s the charm. This time no one opposed him. Finally!

Isaac’s choice to “Dig It” tells me a lot about life’s circumstances and to “never, never, never quit.”

If you are blessed with abundance and great ideas—there will always be people waiting to lay claim to your stuff. In this life you can count on conflict and struggles.

Dig It isn’t about Flight or Fight – it’s about peaceful perseverance. It’s about being the little engine that could. It’s about a simple yet powerful quote, “Never, never, never quit.”

Yup, I Dig It.

Copyright © 2009- 2011 Sherry Meneley . All Rights Reserved . soiledwings.com . sherrymeneley.com . soiled wings createHEART create heart truth soulution soul’ution life coach coaching

16 thoughts on “Dig It

  1. Sherry, I stumbled upon your posts about a year ago when I was convalescing from some major surgery. And I was hooked. Not only are you a brilliant writer, you also have a good way of matching theological truths to real world situations… you make the spiritual understandable. Way to go Girl!

    In regards to this post, there is a fourth way… but a very hard way. Yes, you can fight, take flight, or “dig it” (persevere?)… but I would like to mention a concept that has been spoken of by others (that I would love to credit by name but have forgotten… simply said… this is not my own!!!): Absorb it.

    Actually I do remember some of the people; Rob Bell speaks of it in his book, Love Wins… and it is out there in other forms as well. Simply stated, when attacked, hurt, opposed, violated… we absorb it and refuse to return evil for evil. Not a stoic “grin and bear it” attitude, but a release of the hurt to God… and a continuing of the relationship we are in. To use some of your examples: the Aunt who brings the dish to the pot-luck of your own creation? Rather than drop hints as to its real origin, or rather than stew about it… choose to celebrate the fact that it tastes so good and that your |Aunt has a good way of cooking! Compliment her.

    This way is costly… in fact, it is described as being a Cross… crucifying ourselves, our inner desires for revenge, or respect and adoration… definitely painful. And yet also very powerful.

    I am curious as to your thoughts on this? I have come to deeply respect your wisdom and your talent and your conviction. YOu are a definite blessing to this tired old soul.

    Grace and Peace,

    Jer

    • Wow Jer, you are WAY TOO KIND (but thank you). And yeah… Absorb It, that’s good. I have tended to do this on occasion… But for all the wrong reasons. I’ve been a martyr and I’ve been like Eeore (the ‘oh whoa is me’ donkey from Winnie the Pooh). But in each of those times, I gave up hope, lost faith, and sat in a pit of dispare… and without realizing it, I think I did exactly what the enemy wanted me to do. Giving up, was a sick and twisted version of Absorb It.
      Yup Absorb It in the right context is a good addition… It’s certainly thought management and a HUGE discipline to take our egos out of the equation and find a new way to look at a situation and find thoughts thats are filled with love and compassion.
      Ummmm, Absorb It… Good indeed. And maybe the hardest thing to do. Maybe Absorb It should be applied to Fight, Flight, and Dig It… After all, it’s the condition of our heart that matters. And Absorb It is all about the heart. Thanks Jer… Really good insight! Really good!

  2. Good one, Sherry. When I first started reading about this topic, my mind immediately flew to a situation in my past when I overheard a pastor told a missionary that “x” was his idea. I mean, he actually said, “Thank you; that was my idea.” However I knew full well where the idea came from – yes, mostly me, but in cooperation with others. I was pissed. After taking a few minutes to calm myself down & for them to get on another topic, I sauntered on around the corner to introduce myself to the missionary – which was what I was supposed to be doing as the mission board chair. When he began to comment on all the preparations that had been done, I thanked him & gave credit to my board members. About the “x” item, I said “So-and-so board member thought of that idea & I agreed that it was a great one so we made it happen.” Maybe not one of my finer days (outing the pastor) but I was pretty proud of myself. *evil grin*

    Then as I was reading on to your third point & was trying to guess where you were heading with the “dig it” – I realized that I was thinking of the wrong guy. For some reason, I had Jacob in mind & was thinking about the three different times that he had worked so hard for a prize (as in a wife &/or herds of cattle) only to have the prize cruelly withheld from him – & how he had to keeping working another chunk of years. So yah, wrong guy, but another example of how to react when cheating out of what was supposed to be yours.

    • Exactly Kaye! It’s pretty cool, and I think…not just a coincidence… that themes reoccur over-and-over again through the Old Testiment. Must be something we’re supposed to learn. Truth: I used to really dislike reading from the OT…I mean it was a massive chunk of words that disinterested me. But the more I dig ( no pun intended) the more I see anchient important wisdom, truth, and mystery so deep that I’m drawn into it’s amazing story. (ps :thanks for stopping by my little home on the web today)

  3. Great post my snarky, artsy friend!
    I think the situation calls for us to temper our response to the issue at hand…including sometimes absorbing…because Jesus did those very things also. He fought back in the temple; He took flight (per God’s leading His parents) when He was a baby; He sacrificed Himself at the cross for each one of us; and He continues to forgive us (absorb).
    I know I pray for the wisdom to know how to handle each situation to best honor God.
    But like I said: Great post my snarky, artsy friend!

  4. I have experienced exactly what you are talking about. Letting God be the dispenser of Justice by his blessing rather than fighting for my rights. We literally pounded tent pegs at the four corners of our house and refused to let the enemy take anything from our family or our provision. Great insight and style- you are a great writer.

  5. Great post – great dialogue! Jeremy – I especially love Absorb It. Very tough at times but I have been using that one a lot lately. God knows the truth and that’s all that counts.

  6. Wow Sherry!
    You definately have the gift of inspirational truths! I always know when things are true when I get the chills and I got them several times while reading that! Not only because it’s happened to me but because I know it’s human nature for people to claim the fame for other peoples inspiration and hard work. Thank you for making me feel inspired to keep going and giving it my all. You are definately a butterfly taking flight and I’m so grateful you inspire me to keep being inspired! 😉

  7. Wow, so true that gave me chills! Great writing! You are such an inspiration and I’m grateful to have met you! Keep writing and inspiring people like me to be confident in our inspiration and hard work! 😉

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