Be Kind to the Messenger
Noach (Genesis 6:9-11:32 )
When God brought the flood onto the Earth, Noah and his family were the only human inhabitants whom God had spared. After being at sea for several months, Noah needed to know whether or not the flood had ended and if he would be able to return to dry land. In order to find out, Noah set free a dove from the Ark...
"...to see whether the waters had subsided from the face of the ground. But the dove could not find a resting place for the sole of its foot, and it returned to him to the Ark, for the water was upon the surface of all the earth. So he put forth his hand, and took it, and brought it to him to the Ark." (Genesis 8:8-9)
A LIFE LESSON
Noah and his family were out at sea for many months and were certainly eager to return to dry land. Clearly, when Noah sent out the dove on its mission, he was certainly hopeful that the dove would not come back to the ark - signaling an "all clear" for Noah and his family to return.
But when the dove did in fact come back to the Ark, Noah wasn't angry at the dove. Nor did he express to the dove his obvious disappointment at not being able to return to dry land. Nor did he yell at the messenger about his frustration at not even knowing when he and his family would be able to return. Noah did none of this. Rather, when Noah saw the dove on its way back to the ark, he simply "put forth his hand, and took it, and brought it to him to the ark."
Innocent messengers are constantly delivering news of one sort or another to us. Unfortunately, we almost always show some sort of verbal or nonverbal frustration toward anyone who delivers unwelcome news. Even though the messenger isn't the cause of the news he's delivering, he's nonetheless treated as though he is.
But Noah went even beyond just fighting his temptation of not expressing his obvious disappointment to the dove. He went to the other end of human expression and actually embraced the messenger when he gently put forth his hand, and took it, and brought it to him to the ark.
Noah's actions made the messenger only too willing to repeat its mission a week later and this time the dove delivered great news. Whenever anyone gives you unpleasant news, fight the urge to get upset with the person and make him feel bad. Even try to show him some sort of appreciation. Doing this will make an enormous difference in your personal interactions since people will start seeing you as someone who's consistently approachable, receptive, and caring. And this will lead people to actually seek you out and be eager to share with you the most wonderful and pleasant news.