I was out on one of our fun walking adventures with two of our three amazing grandsons and, as we were discovering all the amusing and entertaining people and places on our walk (like talking with mailman, watching the trash truck, smelling some flowers, saying hi to passersby), we came across an older man enjoying the morning as he sat in a chair in side his open garage. I did not have the opportunity to hear his story but as we said hi and exchanged ‘good mornings,’ he commented how blessed I was to have the joy of grandsons, but also that I was out spending time with them, saying I was blessed to be in their company. I smiled, reveling in the delight of time with my boys and how much I appreciate how these little guys do bless my life.
See, I have a tendency to go full throttle in life. I always choose have a list of things on my to-do list. I live way too stressed trying to accomplish things, yet time with all three of my boys has had an amazing effect on me. I slow down. I stop and find fun watching the trash truck. I celebrate God in the beauty and fragrance of a flower. I make time to have a conversation with the mailman and those we come across. I actually feel my stress melt away as I have the opportunity to be with them. I am better being with them!
As I continued to ponder that man’s comment I saw the wisdom of his words, that there is blessing in the company of others. It reminded me of another wise man’s comments. This wise man is actually the wisest man that ever lived, next to Jesus. He wrote many of the proverbs from the Bible book of Proverbs, but also wrote the Bible book of Ecclesiastes. His name is Solomon.
Ecclesiastes 4:7-8 7 Again, I saw vanity under the sun: 8 one person who has no other, either son or brother, yet there is no end to all his toil, and his eyes are never satisfied with riches, so that he never asks, “For whom am I toiling and depriving myself of pleasure?” This also is vanity and an unhappy business.
‘Vanity’ meaning a waste of time, like chasing after the wind. It is that sense that a life without any connection to any other is empty, out of balance, and unsatisfying. Now, yes those of you introverts who gain energy from being alone, this is not that idea of alone. It is the hollowness of not having anybody, completely alone, void of human contact. People like this tend to be grumpy, self-focused, discontent, unfulfilled, and unhappy. Not a fun way to live.
However, life does not have to be like that. We can make the choices to be connected, have relationships, and seek the company of others. In this we are blessed for together we are better. Solomon goes on…
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! 11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? 12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him – a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Read this passage again. Let these truths sink in. Together we work better, encouraging each other as we go. Together we help each other as we struggle through the hardships and mishaps of life. Together we spur each other along fire up our passions. Together we protect each other from the caustic elements of a fallen world. Together we are better.
So how do we bring this togetherness into life? One way is to choose to love.
Romans 12:10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
Remember, love is not just a feeling. Love is a choice, an action to be kind, nice, caring, patient, attentive and those other actions mentioned in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. It’s treating others as you want to be treated, as Luke 6:31 says.
Life together also takes a lot of forgiveness. For in the dance of relationships we do step on each other’s toes. We say things we should not say. We do things we should not do. We get selfish. Forgiveness is the letting go of those offences.
Matthew 18:21-22 21 Then Peter came up and said to Him (Jesus), “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.
‘Seventy time seven’ is an expression meaning always. Now there is a lot we can say about forgiveness, and I know it is not easy for I have had lots of hurtful things happen in my life, but I can make the choice to let it go. Without forgiveness there is not togetherness.
Lastly, being together takes selflessness.
Philippians 2:4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
1 Peter 3:8 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.
Much of our world pushes us towards isolation, yet together we are better. Why not make those choices of love, forgiveness, and selflessness and see what blessings come your way?
Church is a great place to connect and find belonging together with others. If you are not connected to a church, we would like to invite you to Cypress Church or one of our branch churches. Our website has all the information you would need. www.cypresschurch.net . We would love for you to join us.
Seeking the blessing of togetherness – together with you,