by Brent Nidiffer and Jamie Shell

John Maxwell, in his book The Power of Partnership in the Church writes:

The year was 1904. People at the World's Fair in St. Louis had walked for hours in the hot sun, and they were ready for something to cool them off. That's why they lined up for what seemed like miles in front of the booth of Arnold Fornachou to get a taste of his frosty ice cream.

The problem was that Arnold's ice cream was so popular he quickly ran out of paper bowls. The moonlighting teenager scrambled to keep his potential customers by washing and reusing the few ceramic bowls he had on hand. But no matter how hard he worked, many people grew tired of waiting and wandered off in search of another treat. That's when an unlikely partner emerged to save the day.

His name was Ernest Hamwi, a pastry chef who had grown up in Damascus, Syria. In the booth next to Arnold's, he was selling a wafer-thin Persian confection called a zalabia. That is... he was offering them, but no one was buying them.

When Ernest saw his neighbor's plight, he was struck with a great idea. Grabbing a warm zalabia, he twisted it into a cornucopia shape and rolled it in sugar. Then he ran over to Arnold's booth and offered it to him. Still scrambling to wash bowls and wait on customers, Arnold didn't understand what the older man had in mind. But when Ernest handed an ice cream scoop atop a confection cone to a waiting customer, Arnold instantly got the message. A huge smile spread over his face, and in no time, the two men were working side by side -- Ernest made "edible bowls", Arnold scooped ice cream. Back then, they were called "World's Fair Cornucopias," and they were the hit of the fair. Today, we simply call them ice cream cones -- and they're still a hit.

King Solomon in the book of Ecclesiastes writes "You are better off to have a friend than to be all alone, because then you will get more enjoyment out of what you earn. If you fall, your friend can help you up. But if you fall without having a friend nearby, you are really in trouble. If you sleep alone, you won't have anyone to keep you warm on a cold night. Someone might be able to beat up one of you, but not both of you. As the saying goes, 'A rope made from three strands of cord is hard to break'" (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).

Today, remember that we earn and enjoy more when we work with a partner, as well as experience comfort and strength when we need it.


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