The journey of life is never meant to be done solo. Being as independent as a cat has often dealt me a troubled hand. However, being married to a wonderful woman who is my partner in life has given me the picture of how things for us people are supposed to work. I am not saying you have to be married, although I could not imagine otherwise for my own life. What I am indeed saying is that to walk through life without anyone is not to be human. We need friends, mentors, critics and even cranky neighbors. We need families, whether dysfunctional or otherwise. People need people.
One lesson for me was when I lost over 50 pounds over a year ago now and have kept almost all of it off. (I just gained 10 back and will post about this soon). I could not do this without my wife, friends and blog community. I had the accountability of others not there to see me fail but there to prop me up when needed. They were there to cheer me at the finish line. With all the calorie counting and scale watching, losing weight can be an very machine-like activity, with no sense of humanity.
Goals, of any kind can be like this. We can envision the prize, the reasons the cost and pursue with gusto the next big thing in our lives. But, if we do this solo we have to survey spreadsheet statistics rather than massage and mold our motives. We become stale rather than fluid. The road has bends, and it is in these bends that people make life interesting. Even though I need the data, it is the people that make the difference. Always.
Each Thursday night my worship team practices and prepares for to lead services for our church. We have a goal in mind which is to create the best worship experience and expression for our people and to be authentic in doing this. However, what I enjoy most about it is that we take a pause to talk, pray and look into each others eyes. For years, I have heard critics in my artistic teams say, “Lets keep perfecting the music instead of wasting our time talking or praying.” Yes, that is a real quote and one I gladly ignore.
I have found that our best worship services are not created because we actually work that hard. The best ones are the ones where we can be human and do what we are meant to do. The truth is, creating a climate where being real can exist and thrive is the hardest achievement possible. Sometimes after practice, we spend about an hour or two at Starbucks chewing the fat. Dreams, jokes and humanity are spread on thick like peanut butter. I love it. I can gage how amazing a service will be to how much humanity we allow.
Chemistry loves company. This is why being alone in our faith makes for a sad existence. You can’t be human and be alone. You simply perform it like a machine and lose the catalyst of being human with other humans on this road of life. That catalyst, added with the Holy Spirit in each of us mysteriously propels us to grow in our faith.
The challenge to myself and you is to not make a list of goals for the New Year without the thought of being with others. Make a commitment to allow others to invade you and catalyze you to be more like Jesus. It actually works.