Recently I met with a friend at a conference, where we exchanged business cards with each other, and right at the tip of his card, he wrote after his name “Salt Shaker”. Then it dawn on me that that was really what leaders are. They are salt shakers!
Remember my previous blog on “How to Effectively Impact Others”? Where I talked about why we should impact as salt because wisdom requires that we behave like salt. Please read up the article if you have not read it yet.
What does it mean to be a salt shaker? A salt shaker is literally the container with a perforated top (usually on a meal table) for sprinkling salt on the food.
Logically, the “saltshaker” is the “leader”. The “food” is the “people”. Let’s call the “meal table” the arena of reality (life). While the “hand” (individual) that administers the shaker is the “Hand of God”. Apparently the saltshaker is a required item to enhance the taste experience of the food.
You are either a “food” or a “saltshaker”. Before you freak out let me explain.
First, notice that salt shaking is the function of the hand. Without someone picking up the shaker to sprinkle nothing will happen. Since we are the saltshakers and God is the Hand, it simply means that we cannot function outside of God’s empowerment. God needs to pick you up first before you can dispense your virtue (salt) on others. So, understand that God first picks the shaker (you) to empower the “food” (people). And without the hand (God), there is absolutely nothing you can do on your own to reach others. It starts with God.
Secondly, you are the shaker. The shaker is not just an empty container rather it is a deposit of virtues (salt). Notice, inside the shaker is an important “need” required to enhance the taste of the food, otherwise the food may be unpalatable. Leaders are shakers. The salt (virtue) inside of you is required to be emptied before you die. The deposit in you is what the world needs to be a better place. The virtue in you is what people need to have a better life experience. If you don’t shake out your virtues and empty all your good deposits before you depart this earth, you have failed to live out your purpose and wasted your salt. Also, for the hand (God) to pick you for this agenda you need to make yourself available – be at the right (noticeable) corner at the meal table (arena of life) and you will surely be located for your mandate. Be where you are supposed to be and never hesitate to dispense your grace on others. The salt shaker is useless with someone picking it up to shake over.
Thirdly, the “meal table” is the arena called life where anything can happen. However, notice that the table is controlled by what seems to be a higher force – the hand. It determines the navigation of items on the meal table: Whether the food requires little, more or less salt or perhaps nothing at all. The “Hand of God” is in charge of the activity on the meal table. And since it is so, it means that even as a “food” (people), God may choose not to use a saltshaker to enhance us or might choose to ignore us if we appear too good to be salted (whereas we are lacking the essential ingredient of survival) or perhaps choose not to reach us at all when we are not within reach. In any case, the “hand” may decide to take (use or utilize) us as we are even at our deficient level of taste.
Finally, the “food” represents people. The “food” needs everything on the table to get to where it should. And where is that? The stomach of God (heaven). The “food” needs not only the container but the salt (virtue) inside the container to enhance its taste experience in order to charm the Guy that has the hand (God). The “food” needs the “meal table” (arena of life) to have a geographical bearing. Because usually, the position of the food determines which saltshaker to be used since in most cases there are several “salt shakers” on a “meal table”. The “food” needs the “hand” for two reasons: 1. to pick the right saltshaker that will enhance its taste and 2. to finally make it to the stomach…
Leaders (saltshakers) stimulate people (the food) to become better and ready for heaven (the stomach) at the arena of life (meal table).
It starts with God and ends in God.
Try shake some salt this week!