A French riddle for children illustrates the idea of “exponential growth”. You can use this riddle to dispute the attitude that “there’s plenty of time to act — I’ll volunteer next year.”
Suppose you own a pond on which a water lily is growing. The lily plant doubles in size each day.
If the plant were allowed to grow unchecked, it would completely cover the pond in 30 days, choking off all other forms of life in the water.
For a long time the lily plant seems small, so you decide not to worry about it until it covers half the pond. On what day will that be?
On the twenty-ninth day.
Now you have just one day to act to save your pond.
This is a concept that is useful for a church that isn’t “ready” to invite the stranger or take a look at the changing neighborhood. Maybe for an organization that has always done it “this way” or “that way”. Or for a social action group that is waiting for “just the right time” to start sharing the message of needed change.
Maybe it is even relevant for you and I – to remember that we are not guaranteed a tomorrow, and that this day is all the time each one of has. Do you need to check on your pond?
- A Lesson for the church: The Tortoise and The Geese (barefootpreachr.org)
- Turtle Time (lifeofafemalebiblewarrior.wordpress.com)