“Two are better than one…for if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls for he has no one to help him up” Ecclesiastes 4:10
There I was – about to go up on stage. It was our church’s high school graduation party and this year’s class was a big one. All the seniors were gathered together in the church gym, along with family and friends. The kids were all dressed up and the gym looked like a ballroom. It was a class event all the way.
And then it came time for my part. My part was simple: give a speech and then present a gift to each graduate. The plan was to call them up one by one, hand them the gift and then pause for a Kodak moment – a chance for everyone to take a picture of me handing a gift to the graduating senior.
Seems simple enough right? Any idiot can do that? I would imagine that I could handle something that simple on my own, without any help from anyone. Right?????
WRONG! That day I learned a valuable lesson in why we need each other and why two really are better than one.
As I was about to go up on stage, one of the graduates tried to get my attention and made some type of signal towards his face. I didn’t understand what he was trying to tell me at first, but soon he made it even more obvious. He was motioning to me to wipe my nose.
“Wipe my nose? Why would I need to wipe my nose?” I thought to myself.
Then I glanced at my reflection in a nearby window and realized that – forgive me for the disgustingness of this image – I HAD A BOOGER HANGING OUT OF MY NOSE. And it was a big one at that!
Yep that’s right. Go ahead and laugh. Can you imagine what would have happened if that kid didn’t tell me? Oh my goodness, I shudder at the thought. I would have gone up there on stage and looked like a complete moron. I would have given a speech and of course no one would have been listening because instead they’d be focused on the big mountain-sized booger hanging out of my nose.
And then the pictures! Oh man the pictures! My booger would have been immortalized for all generations as I ended up taking a CLOSE UP with every single graduate that night! Can you imagine that picture on your mantle when you invite guests over?
“Who’s the funny looking bearded guy with the huge booger in that picture?”
Man oh man. That kid saved my life. Thank God I wasn’t alone that night before going up on stage. Thank God!
How about you? Do you have anyone watching out for you – informing you of the proverbial “booger hanging out of your nose”? Like me in that story, we all have blind spots – areas that we can’t see and we’ll never be able to see unless someone is there to point them out. Do you have people like that in your life? Or are you trying to do it alone?
Yesterday, I spoke in church about the second of our core values at STSA.
Authentic Community. We believe God created the Church to fulfill our relational needs in addition to our spiritual needs. We reject superficiality in relationships with one another just as we reject superficiality in our relationship with God.
We live in a world today that preaches the importance of independence – doing it on your own and relying on yourself alone. Independence is good, but can only get you so far. I believe God wants us to live lives of interdependence instead – relying not just on ourselves but on a community to help us. That is how God designed for us to live – as part of a community.
And deep down, that is what everyone longs for. Even from the very beginning, when God created Adam and the world was perfect – no sin, no crime, no sickness, no traffic… all was good (literally). But actually something was not good. In Genesis 2:18, God said “It is not good that man should be alone.”
I don’t think God was talking just about marriage when He said that. I think He was talking about a grander concept – the concept of community – that we were not made to go through life alone. We were made to live as part of a community.
Do you have that kind of community in your life? Do you have a group of people that you can rely on to watch out for blind spots and help you through life?
Life isn’t easy and it is inevitable that you will face situations that you can’t handle on your own. Maybe it’s time to invest more in your local community (your church, your family, your friends) so that you’re ready. You never know when you’re going to wind up with a booger on your face.
Discussion: Do you agree that we all need community in our lives? Why or why not?