June 27, 2016

What does it mean to partner?

How would you describe partnership?

We have many definitions today for the concept of partnership, but when I ask myself this question I think of a story Jesus told over 2,000 years ago.

There was a Jewish man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho and he was blindsided by an attack from bandits.  They beat him, stripped him of his clothing and dignity and left him for dead on the side of the road. I imagine he laid there in excruciating pain and despair waiting to die, knowing that his family and friends would be left to fend for themselves.  A priest and another man both came down the road at different times throughout the day.  I can only imagine the joy that abounded in the man’s heart when he saw them, hoping desperately they might stop.  Only to watch them move to the other side of the road and pass quickly by, eyes focused straight ahead.  Sometime later a Samaritan man came down the road, he stopped and diligently bound the Jewish man’s wounds and poured oil and wine over them; he loaded the Jewish man onto his donkey and took him to an inn.  When they arrived he found the man a room and paid the innkeeper for the room and told him; “Take care of him, and whatever more you spend I will pay for when I return.”

The Samaritan gave graciously of his time, energy and money – how different might the outcome have been if it hadn’t been for his compassion? The life of an entrepreneur is one full of risks, dangerous moments, lonely places, big wins and big losses and we find ourselves lying on the side of the road in deep need of help at times.  In the Engler program we believe in the Samaritan man.  We believe in pulling one another up from the side of the road and moving forward together. As a member of this program I can’t imagine how different my path might have been if it weren’t for the incredible partners I have been surrounded by here.

This is partnership and this is the Engler Program.

Ben Halvorson