I picked up the kailan that had been soaking. They looked and felt fresh, with vibrant green leaves and crisp stems. As I trimmed the base, I looked for random yellow leaves hidden in the mix. The process was going smoothly until I encountered a string bean. It took a moment to realize that I was soaking the greens in the same water as I just finished soaking a pot of beans in. Somehow one had lost its way. The stray was quickly united with its mates.
As I continued working on dinner, my mind stayed with the random bean. The discovery echoed my experience with teams. In working with others, it is exciting to see the ways they buy into a dream and learn to work together. Along the way, one often discovers someone that is different. Without comment as to her/his character or skills, you know that they are very different from everyone else on the team. It is often something so fundamental that you wonder how they got into the mix to start with.
Life reminds me that these individuals fall between two extremes. One is destructive end, similar discovery to the one Paul had with his community; “What has happened is that some people have infiltrated our ranks (our Scriptures warned us this would happen), who beneath their pious skin are shameless scoundrels. Their design is to replace the sheer grace of our God with sheer license—which means doing away with Jesus Christ, our one and only Master.” (Jude 1.4)
The other is positive. Yes, they are different but they also complement. They raise the spirits of everyone around them. They energize and uplift the projects they work with. They are a catalyst that makes others better because of their presence.
It is important to figure out where they best fit, with others that are similar (as in the case of the green bean) or in the mix. Strange combinations can work at times, although I have yet to figure out a way to make green beans positively work with kailan.