Three Sticks

One weekend our boy scout troop went to Camp Pupukea to a boy scout competition. We were given some instructions to follow. We were to use what we had learned in scouting and our native wit to survive in the rain forest. There were also some clues along the way to help us to find the right direction or course.


Seeing some disturbance in the leaves on the ground, we knew right off which direction to go. We came upon a rope bridge and learned quickly that we better cross one at a time. The bridge swayed and bounced. We’d lose points if one of us fell off.


We came upon a tree with a bucket hanging from a protuberance on the trunk. In the bucket, our instructions said, was an important clue.


We couldn’t just reach up and grab the bucket because there was a rope around the tree that demarked, our instructions said, the edge of a pit crawling with poisonous snakes. There were three sticks and a length of rope. We were to use these to retrieve the bucket and its message.


Our group of scouts went into action immediately. We threw all three sticks at the bucket, trying to knock it down, missed, and there the sticks lay among the snakes. We tried using the length of rope as a whip. Of course, we failed to retrieve the bucket, and after several minutes were told to move on as best we could.


We had failed miserably, and we felt bad about ourselves. It was later that we found out that we were supposed to lash the three sticks together and then reached for the bucket handle, lift the bucket off its protuberance. We failed to think before we acted. We failed to make a tool that would have extended our reach.


God gave us a mind, and we didn’t use it. It is through our tools and technology that we extend ourselves, maximize our energies and strength. Think.