Clang… Click… The steel-barred door firmly shut and locked. The five of us were secured inside a cell that would have been a cozy fit for two. None of us had been arrested before, and we weren’t sure what to do next. Someone began examining the gibberish–scrawled in permanent marker–on the cement wall. I fumbled with a combination lock that was fastened to an antique cabinet in the corner.
Fortunately, it only took a few minutes for one of our team members to decipher the hieroglyphics, and the fourth combination suggested was a success. Inside the wooden cabinet was a framed picture and a journal–filled with more, mysterious clues.
The hints led to uncovering a hidden, extendable steel-pole, with a fishhook attached to one end. The tallest member of our team cautiously extend this device through the bars and carefully hooked it to a key–strategically hidden in a fishbowl–at the far end of the room. The key fit perfectly in the cell door, but opening our cell was only the beginning of our journey. The next step was to escape from the locked room.
Our second escape was more complex. It involved cracking a computer code and using a lighted web-cam to retrieve another combination from inside of a locked drawer. This combination led to the discovery of a secret room, and ultimately, to our escape.
We had teamed-up successfully to release ourselves from our escape-room maze in fifty minutes flat. It wasn’t a new record, but it was a success. Working together, the five of us accomplished what no, one of us could have done on our own.
The escape-room experience was a Christmas gift from our in-laws. The girl’s team was up next, and I’m proud to report that we guys escaped slightly faster. Apparently, these rooms are a popular form of entertainment in Europe and are trickling their way into the United States. This interactive, team-building puzzle is something that I would definitely do again. Not only was it a fun end to our holiday adventures, but it was also an excellent reminder of the power of teamwork.
Teamwork: One of my Greatest Surprises of 2015
In the past, I’ve been skeptical of online friendships. After all, how much of a relationship can one develop with someone living hundreds or even thousands of miles away? One of my most pleasant surprises of 2015 was discovering just how meaningful cyber-friendship can be.
Over the past year, casual acquaintances have developed into full-blown friends. Of course, tools like blogs, social media, and Skype have made these long-distance relationships easier than ever. Today, connecting with my new-found blogging friends is one of the highlights of my week.
It’s also how I’m growing both as a writer and personally. The prayers, words of encouragement, bits of writing wisdom, and real-life conversations, have far exceeded expectations.
It’s also been a joy to be able to pray for my friends, cheer them on, add my insights to their writing, and brainstorm strategies on how to make life work.
My Teamwork Journey
Learning how to team-up with others has been a process. And it’s an area where I would like to continue to grow. Teams are powerful. Whether you are locked in a puzzle-maze, trying to think your way out, or looking to expand your writing platform, teaming-up is the best way to get the job done. That’s why I’m declaiming 2016, my year of teamwork.
This year, I’m excited about doing more collaborative posts, more guest-posting, and more connecting. In 2015, I read fewer books and more blog-posts–Mostly because I love the personal interaction that the blogging environment creates. Being able to ask honest questions, and receive practical feedback–from the author himself–is incredible!
Of course, this ties into why I began this website, in the first place. Life is an ongoing conversation, and there is rarely only right answer. Proverbs 15:22 says, “Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.” Wise leaders connect with others and harness the power of teamwork.
Since I’m declaring 2016 as my teamwork year, I thought I would start by hosting my first link party. I discovered link-parties a few weeks ago and am having a blast networking and making new friends. If you write or blog, I would be honored to have you join in by adding one or two of your favorite posts from 2015. It’s easy, fun, and takes less than a minute to do.
And while you’re at it, please be sure to take the time to visit some of the other submitted posts, leave a comment, and make new friends–after all, that is what these parties are all about. The only requirement is that your post is family-friendly and touches on a topic of family, friendship, or faith.
Continue the Teamwork Conversation
Before you go, what are some of the ways that you are teaming up with others? Since 2016 is my year of teamwork, I’d love to hear your wisdom and insights on how I can best team-up with you in this new year!