Pause and Reflect 2007-10-15 19:07:00



Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg

That's easy for you to say! This is actually the ancestral name of Lake Webster and also the longest place name in the US.

More info on Lake Webster here and of course the wikipedia entry.

More on long words here.

Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg
literally means "you fish on your side, I'll fish on my side, and nobody fishes the middle".

We are often told that Native Americans had/have no sense of land ownership. Everything belonged/belongs to all. This striking example shows us that even in this culture, ostensibly unencumbered by the concept of ownership, some conflict and territorialism at at least one point crept in.

Staking a claim can inhibit our flexibility. In our endeavor to hold onto what is ours we so burden ourselves with territorialism that we cannot even pronounce, much less enjoy what God has provided to all.

There is a great "game theory" exercise entitled, "Win As Much As You Can". The goal is to "win as much as you can". What you don't tell the participants is that they are to work together within their apparently adversarial groupings. Someone works for their own gain and hurts the group. In the church world, if we would let go of "my ministry", "my class", and "our church" and acknowledge that it all belongs to God, perhaps we would all be able to fish out of the deep water at the middle of the lake and enjoy its harvest together.