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COOPERATION

Paul Schneidmill

 

Cooperation – The act of working together toward a common end or purpose.  An association for a mutual benefit.  (Webster’s New Riverside Dictionary – compiled utilizing the root word, “cooperate”)

 

Several years ago, I read a story in one of Alice Gray’s “Stories for the Heart” book collection, about an experience the late entertainer, Jimmy Durante, had while entertaining American troops at a USO show in Europe, during World War II. 

 

Jimmy had informed the benefit personnel that he would not be able to perform very long, due to an engagement he had elsewhere in that particular region.  When he was scheduled to end his performance, he continued to perform for the troops much, much longer than expected.  When his act was over, he was asked by one of the show personnel why he performed so long after stating he would only perform for a short time.  Jimmy remarked that there were two soldiers in the audience who repeatedly applauded him, so he was encouraged to continue.  The questioner was puzzled.  Undoubtedly, the famous Jimmy Durante was used to applause, so he asked the entertainer what was so different about the applause of these two “G.I.’s.”  Jimmy explained that both of the men had been maimed, each were missing an arm – one was missing his right arm, the other was missing his left arm, and together they were using what they had to applaud his performance.

 

I believe that story displays a serious example/exhibition of the meaning of cooperation.

 

Cooperation is that which promotes mutual effort and allows for the use of multiple abilities.  Cooperation consists of united effort, works well with his counterpart, “Participation,” and always does more good than harm.                    

 

Let me tell you a little story God recently gave me about cooperation…and I mean recently, very recently.  He gave it to me as I was writing the previous few sentences.

 

Once upon a time (that’s always a good place to start – smile), there were three “gentlemen” who were completely and totally united.  They were so united, they were inseparable.  They did everything together, made decisions together and were not divided in anything.  For the story’s purpose, we’ll call them, “CO,” “OP,” and “RATE.”

 

One day, after having worked diligently for five days on a massive and innovative construction project, “CO” said to “OP” and “RATE,” “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them (mankind) rule over the fish of the sea (that We’ve made) and over the birds of the sky (that We’ve made) and over the cattle (that We’ve made), and over all the earth (ditto), and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth (you guessed it).  (Genesis 1:26 – New American Standard Bible)           

 

(I believe you might just be on the train by now…if so, let’s go for a ride)

 

So man was created with the imprint, signature, and stamp of The One and Only Maker of all things.  Things were going well for man until he willingly decided to disobey the only strict “do not” he’d been given (Genesis 2:16-17).  After that, big trouble was invited into the vast neighborhood created for man.  Things got so bad it was as if man was racing recklessly down a steep hill, in a speeding ambulance with lights flashing, really, really fast.

 

“CO,” “OP,” and “RATE” loved man dearly and wanted man to be and do good, but “CO,” in agreement with “OP” and “RATE” (as always) would note mandate man’s ability to choose or act regarding right and wrong, because the essence of “CO,” is love (1 John 4:8), and love never compels or demands (1 Corinthians 13:5 – New Living Translation…think on that for a bit).

 

To “save” man from his mounting mess, a rescue mission was engineered by the “Supreme Love Team” of “CO,” “OP,” and “RATE.” 

 

Working through a totally unified plan that would require great sacrifice, “OP” inserted Himself into the situation and paid the ultimate price for man – His life.  In an over-watch position nearby (as He stands nearby at all times), “RATE” “raised” “OP” from the dead and extracted Him back to “OP.”  The mission was a complete success!

 

Let me introduce you to heroes of our story:

 

“CO,” is God, the Father.  He is our Sovereign, Supreme COmmander and Creator.

“OP,” is God, the Son.  He is the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  He OPerated, and yet OPerates on behalf of all mankind.

“RATE,” is God, the Holy Spirit.  He is the Comforter and He is able to guide us, help us, and lead us.  Like the definition of the word, “RATE,” He provides a measurement of the power of the Whole, within us (Romans 12:3, Ephesians 4:7). 

 

Now, get this.  We have the capacity to cooperate with each other in this life.  Really…, we do.  When we cooperate with each other and work together with God (1 Corinthians 3:9), great things are accomplished.

 

Let’s cooperate to have better cooperation with God and others.  “CO,” “OP,” and “RATE” really are a great team.  They are ONE and they are the best!  You and I can join them.  You and I can be united with them and be adopted into their “Family.” 

 

We can get into the ongoing story and join the cast as, “TION” (pronounced, “SHUN”).    

 

Copyright © Paul Schneidmill