Multiply (1,114)

April 12th, 2011

“Go figure.”

“It doesn’t add up.”

“Do the math.”

Yes, indeed. Do the math. Mathematics is intricate in every facet of our lives, including the beauty of music, the angles of architecture and the specifications of a great painting. I personally liked math until they started inviting x’s and y’s into the equation under the guise of a supernatural revelation of understanding called algebra.

Continuing in that mathematical theme, I believe this is why God used the word multiply as the second instruction he offered to human beings. Yes—after he said to “be fruitful” he said to “multiply.” (Of course, once again our minds go to procreation, where we proudly display our impeccable offspring, based upon our truly unique ability to have sexual intercourse.)

But as with “fruitful,” “multiply” means much more. Of the four basic options available in dealing with numbers—addition, subtraction, division and multiplication—multiplication is the only one that demands we go beyond 1.

For example, if you multiply 1,000 X 1 you get 1,000.

If you add 1,000 plus 1, you get 1,001.

If you subtract 1 from1,000 you get 999.

But multiplication is also the only situation where if you offer a zero, you get a zero. You see, 1,000 X 0 does not equal 1,000. It equals 0.

Now if that figuring was too complex to understand in your first reading, be patient. I will clarify.

There are some people who bring their “one” into every situation. They are adders. “I’ll be there!” They often arrive depressed, upset, lazy, tired or unmotivated. But you have one more warm body present—which can be added into the equation.

Then there are those who merely subtract from the potential of every possibility. “Count me out!” And usually they will follow that proclamation with a litany of reasons why they have decided this particular project is doomed from inception. So they not only fail to provide any energy to the idea, but also drain much of the faith in the vision away through their negativity.

Then there are those who divide. They not only decide to subtract themselves from the event, but also want to make sure that they acquire an adequate number of people who listen to their objections and are convinced to remove themselves from encouraging progress. They are not only detractors—they become the enemies of the particular push—all the time maintaining a smile.

And then there are multipliers. You remember, that’s what God told us we were supposed to do. Multipliers realize that adding one is quite good—but usually the addition of one does not warrant ultimate success of our endeavor. So they make themselves capable and usable to be multiplied. They not only agree to be there, they add on a second component: willingness.

By merely showing up and applying the extra function of willingness, it means that all the efforts will be multiplied by two. Instead of a single presence, you suddenly have a force—just by the addition of “I am ready to go.”

I’m not trying to turn this into a motivational speech—“Let’s go out and get’em!” I’m just saying that all of us know the difference between “I’m here” and “I’m ready.” Nothing multiplies until it moves forward to the power of two. It is why Jesus said that whatever two shall agree upon shall be done. So in the absence of anyone else to join with me, I multiply my own potential just by changing my vision from “I’m here” to “I’m ready.”

This is what we mean by multiplying. It’s the difference between saying, “I play a little bit of piano…” to including, “…and since I play a little bit of piano, I thought you might need a piano player so I took the time to practice.”

It’s the difference between “I’ll be there to work at your house…” and “…and I brought along my tools and some bottles of water for everybody.”

We know what to do, so therefore when we withhold it, it is an aggressive action of negativity.

But can I introduce a third step? And when you add a third energy to multiplication, you really begin to see things expand. That third part is: “I am ready to pursue all ideas, even if they aren’t mine.”

Just think if our government worked that way—if every Congressman, Senator or President would arrive in Washington and say, “I’m here, I’m willing and I’m ready to pursue any idea—even if it’s not mine.”

Consider what would happen if a church congregation arrived in the sanctuary and instead of merely adding their eyes and ears or subtracting themselves due to disinterest, or dividing those around them through complaints, they instead would come into God’s presence saying, “Here I am. I am willing, and I will pursue ideas, even if they are not mine.”

Please do not think that anything will change until we begin to multiply instead of merely adding, subtracting in a fussy way, or dividing, sowing discord amongst the brethren.

Yes—we must be fruitful.

But then it is time to multiply, taking ourselves from the singular position of presence to the plurality of involvement.

Published in: on April 12, 2011 at 1:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
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