With Whom Do You Share This Journey?
“I have friends in overalls whose friendship I would not swap for the favor of the kings of the world.” –Thomas A. Edison
We do love our independence. We’ve been taught happiness is the result of it; to work towards it. We’ve been taught to be independent in every way—then we will be happiest.
And yet, we have never had more unhappy people in the world than we do today. Why? Independence isn’t the answer!
Happiness doesn’t come from being isolated, with barriers up and masks on. Keeping people at a distance isn’t the way to be happy. Happiness doesn’t come from independence; it comes from interdependence. Happiness comes from being in community. This is the way God designed us.
In the beginning God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). Notice the plural pronouns: us and our. God is in community within himself—Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He made us in his image, to be in community. This is the way he intends for us to live.
“For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others” (Romans 12:4-5).
We need each other. We just don’t realize how much because we are taught to be independent. But we can only fulfill his design and purposes for our lives in community, in his family, and in relationships with each other.
Community and connection are vitally important. The person who tries to go it alone will quickly lose strength and enthusiasm. Even Jesus, though he is God and could have done everything by himself, chose to gather a group of disciples with whom he carried out his ministry, sharing each experience along the way.
The sage sums it up wisely in the book of Ecclesiastes:
“Again I saw something meaningless under the sun: There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth, “For whom am I toiling,” he asked, “and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?” This too is meaningless—a miserable business! Two are better than one because they have a good return for their work; If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4: 7-12).
Who are we sharing this journey with? How are we experiencing interdependence?
My prayer this week – Dear Lord, thank you for intending me to be in relationship with others and not to go it alone. Thank you for placing me in the body of Christ. Will you give me grace that I might become more aware of those around me and more willing to share this journey with them—for their benefit and blessing, and my own?