People sometimes think they can make it alone. But it’s not so. Human beings are first, last, and always social creatures.
People need interaction, certainly for emotional wellbeing but also for achievement. Sure, there are great works of art or literature that are the products of one genius. But even they didn’t spring forth fully formed and fully able to produce. They had to learn, to be nurtured, to grow and to grow up. Someone, more often, some many, invested in them.
God created us for communion with him. Then he created others for our companionship and community. First Adam, then Eve, then the family, and then the human race.
Cultures vary. There’s the individualistic West and the communal or collective East, and there’s strengths and weaknesses to both. But even in the West’s frontier-forged independence we still needed each other then and now. Even our legends, Daniel Boone, Kit Carson, had sidekicks. Even our heroes like Teddy Roosevelt didn’t charge up San Juan Hill alone. Nor did the Greatest Generation, with more than it’s share of heroes, win WWII one at a time.
Scripture says, “For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord” (Romans 14:7-8). We belong to the Lord and are positioned as regents in his creation.
So despite Simon and Garfunkel’s pithy phrase, “I am a rock, I am an island,” we’re really not. Even their final poignant lyric doesn’t fit human beings and human experience: “And a rock feels no pain; And an island never cries.” We’re neither rocks nor islands. We do feel pain and we do cry.
So going it alone in some kind of macho misperception is an enormous mistake. People only go it alone when greed, pride, hurt, or arrogance overcome them.
One can be lonely in a crowd, I know. This is a by-product of modernity. People live amongst millions in relative angst and alienation. It’s a sad life because it is not a “normal” life.
If one is a Christian he or she need never be alone. Indeed Christians are not and cannot be alone for the Holy Spirit of God indwells us (1 Corinthians 3:16). Yet many believers seem to act as if they are alone. This too is a sad life.
Friendship, relationships, companionship, a good marriage, fellowship, these are powerful enabling concepts. They are gifts of God. Seek such things. Nurture them. They make life livable, enjoyable, and fruitful.
I don’t want to be a rock. I don’t want to be an island. I don’t even want to be the Lone Ranger. I want us, not just me.
© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2012
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