It is feeling more and more like autumn. There is a chill in the air, and the temperatures last night dipped lower than they have since the last breath of winter gave way to the new life of spring five or six months ago. According to the Banker Weather station nearby we’re only about fifteen degrees from freezing this morning.
And, our frugal Dutch blood has challenged Wendy and me to see how long we can go before we break down and crank up the boiler. So, this morning found Wendy and I snuggled like spoons under our summer bedding, not wanting to get up to face the cold. Thus, I’m a little later than usual with this post.
Today, I have nothing profoundly spiritual share. I’m simply thankful for the warmth of Wendy on chilly autumn mornings. 🙂
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.”Genesis 2:18 (NLT)
I love the movie It’s a Wonderful Life. I know I’ve mentioned it on this blog before (probably multiple times). It’s one of the movies I could watch over and over again. No matter how many times I see it I can’t get through the ending without the tears welling up in my eyes and dripping down my cheeks. I love simple truths powerfully communicated, and I love when George Bailey opens up the copy of Tom Sawyer to find the inscription:
Dear George, Remember no man is a failure who has friends.
Alone-ness is not a good thing. We need companionship. We need fellowship. We need relationship. We need others walking beside us on our life’s journey. It is the way we were designed and wired by our Creator. We were created to know and be known and even God recognized that our life on this Earth would not be right without other human beings to share the experience. It is one of the first things we learn about humanity in God’s Message.
I am and have been blessed with good companions throughout my life’s journey, but my experience is that these relationships typically don’t just happen by chance. The fruit of good relationship follows seasons of cultivating, plowing, planting, watering, feeding, weeding, and pruning. If we want authentic relationships then we have to prepare ourselves for it, we have to pursue it, and we have to be willing to give time for relationship to grow.
This morning I’m doing a little introspection. I’m thinking about and asking God to reveal to me the ways I can be better at relationships. The further I get in this journey the more I treasure and need meaningful relationships. It starts with me.
“But how can I carry, all by myself, your troubles and burdens and quarrels? So select some wise, understanding, and seasoned men from your tribes, and I will commission them as your leaders.”Deuteronomy 1:12-13 (MSG)
Throughout the journey I’ve been in various positions of leadership. It started when I was elected Captain of the Woodlawn Elementary School Safety Patrol. I still remember getting the little Captain’s badge to put on my bright orange safety patrol belt as I went out to the corner of Madison and Lower Beaver to hold up my arms and direct students safely across the street.
With all of the leadership opportunities I’ve had since then, I can still scarcely imagine the task Moses faced. Some 600,000 men, their families and herds all wandering from campsite to campsite and Moses was the lone voice of leadership. I can’t imagine the daily burden that he faced. It is no wonder that circumstance drove Moses and the people to develop a structure of governance.
Today I’m reminded that even in the beginning of the story God said it was not good to be alone. It still holds true, even in daily life, corporate life, spiritual life, and family life. We need companions for the journey to share in the burden and ease the load. We need others to provide both encouragement and accountability. Going it alone is risky business.