In some ways, as a society, we are the most connected we have ever been. Some. However, in most ways I think we are becoming more and more disconnected. We have fake, digital connections with people. But we lack the real connection.
That’s not all. Along with our increasing disconnectedness, we have added an increased level of comparison and competition. We see what people are doing online and are trying desperately to compete. And we can’t keep up. And when we can’t keep up we feel like a failure.
So, we spend most of our time alone, feeling like a failure because we don’t think we measure up to what we see from everyone else.
Did you know you weren’t created to be alone?
“The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Gen. 2:18 (NIV)
“Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.” Prov. 18:1 (ESV)
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 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!” Ecc. 4:9-10
From the very beginning, God knew that we needed community. Especially the life-giving community of the church. There is something wonderfully mysterious about this community. It’s intangible. You can’t see it or even describe it, but, you feel it when you are in it.
Amazing things happen when we are in community.
It’s easy to compare yourself to a picture or video online and feel like you don’t measure up because all you see is that one moment. That one successful moment that this person felt was good enough to share with the world. You don’t see the mess. You don’t see the mistakes. You just see that one good moment. But when you’re in true community, you see more. You see the humanity of all the people your are with. You see the highlights, but you see the flaws too. Comparison dies off because you know that one moment of glory is contrasted with other moments of mayhem.
When we are in community, we see the imperfections. We see the good and the bad. We see the hurts and the pains. We see real humans. There is no substitution for that. We understand that none of us is perfect. We understand that for every weakness I have, there is someone who has that strength. We can see that while I might be a good foot, there are only specific things I can do as a foot. And when the foot tries to be an ankle, things go terribly wrong. But, when the foot and ankle recognize who they are, while at the same time recognizing their need and interdependence on others, community forms.
I can’t do this alone. I can’t walk through this life alone and succeed. I can’t do everything for everyone and be everything to everyone. It’s literally impossible. I need you. Not only do I need you, there rest of us here need you. With that, you need us. You need me. You have qualities, assets, abilities, strengths that I don’t have. I need you. I have weaknesses that can only be built up by the strengths you have. I also have strengths. I have qualities, assets, abilities and strengths that you don’t have. You need me. You have weaknesses that can only be built up by my strengths. And if you’re weaknesses can’t be built up by my strengths, there is someone else who can. It’s not just me. It’s not just you. It’s not just the two of us. It’s all of us working together. You need others. Others need you.
You were not created to walk alone.
So stop trying to do so.
Even, in our fascination with superheros, we can see that superheros don’t have the perfect combination of superpowers. Superheros have weaknesses and need the abilities of other superheros. Superman can fly, but he can’t shoot webs. (I must stop here before you realize I know very little about these characters. I don’t want the illustration to break down because of my lack of knowledge.)
You were not created to walk alone. You need others. Others need you.
I was not created to walk alone. I need others. Others need me. Will you join me on Sunday at 10:00am, as we continue to learn to walk together?