There was once a man caught in a terrible flood. Clinging to a piece of wood, he prayed to God. "Lord," he said, "Please save me from this flood, and I will faithfully serve you." As he drifted through the raging floodwaters, the wood that held him above water could no longer hold him up, and so he abandoned the wood and began to swim.

"God will save me," the man said. The water was cold, and he was tired, but he swam on. He heard a voice cry out, "I've thrown a rope! Grab it and I will pull you to safety!" But the man said, "No, I am all right. God will save me." And he swam on, right past the rope.

Now the cold began to seep into his muscles, and every stroke became a labor. A woman on a kayak paddled near him and said, "Hold on to my kayak, and I will tow you to safety!" But the man refused. "No, I'm all right. God will save me." The woman begged him to grab hold, but eventually he drifted away from her, and she was lost in the driving rain.

As the hours wore on, the man's muscles became like lead, and he could no longer swim. All he could do was tread water, and even that was only enough to keep his nose above the surface of the waves. Suddenly a bright light flashed over him, and over the roar of a helicopter's rotor he heard a voice.

"Search and Rescue! We're sending down a basket! Climb in!" And through the light he saw a metal basket coming toward him.

"No, it's all right! God will save me!" The basket landed near him in the water, but he didn't climb in. The helicopter couldn't hold the hover any longer, but it didn't matter. The man had already slipped under the water and drowned.

When he opened his eyes, he was in a forest of deep green, and there, sitting on a large rock, was God. The man kneeled at God's feet.

"I don't understand. Why didn't you save me?" And God shrugged and said, "Well, I did send you a rope, a kayak, and a helicopter."

Many of you might have heard a story like this but its message stays true. It's very easy to overlook opportunities that are right in front of us. In life and especially in business, being willing to accept help from others can be just as important as being willing to offer it. Business is by nature a collaborative enterprise, bringing together people with diverse skills to work toward a common objective. When you are willing to accept help as well as give it, then your working group will become more than just the sum of its parts, each member recognizing the value of relying on the others. It's so important that well-meaning experts have spent time dreaming up fancy names for it, like "synergy" and "symbiosis." But what it really comes down to is simply being humble. Accepting help isn't a sign of weakness or laziness (although lazy people do tend to accept it more readily than others). It shows that you have put your own ego aside for the good of the organization. Add a little gratitude to the mix, and you have the perfect recipe for healthy business relationships.

The Silver City Grant County Chamber of Commerce exists to help businesses in the county flourish. We're always looking for new members and new ideas to help grow the County's economy.

You might have to wait a while for that helicopter, though.