You've got a friend
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity. -Proverbs 17:17
Captain Kirk & Dr. Spock, Lucy Ricardo & Ethel Mertz, Fred Flintstone & Barney Rubble, Sherlock Holmes & Dr. Watson, Batman & Robin, the Lone Ranger & Tonto, Napoleon Dynamite & Pedro Sanchez, Shrek & Donkey. What do these famous fictional pairings have in common? In each case, neither individual would have been complete without their buddy. Why is this formula so prevalent in movies, books, and TV shows? Because it's a theme that works. We see it in sports (Montana/Rice, Jordan/Pippen), music (Jagger/Richards, Hootie/Blowfish), business (Sears/Roebuck, Smith/Wesson), and history (Lincoln/Grant, Roosevelt/Churchill).
It works because there is something special when I have a friend alongside. We share a common vision, we're on the same team. We can encourage each other when one gets down. We can bounce ideas off one another when we're in the middle of a tough decision. Extra hands make the load lighter. This combination of factors means the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. There is a cumulative effect in the partnership that makes almost any obstacle seem like a minor inconvenience.
So why am I so prone to go into hiding when trials come? Is it pride? Embarrassment? An assumption that no one cares? Reluctance to trouble someone else with my problems? Whatever it is, it ain't healthy. Left on its own, my mind can go a lot of places I don't need to be. Worst-case scenarios that are almost certainly never going to happen. Quick fixes that do more harm than good. Terrible ideas that make sense in my desperate state of mind, making me way too vulnerable to irrational fears, destructive choices, and actions that sacrifice long-term goals for short-term gratification. In moments like that, I could use a friend. Ironically, those are the moments I am likely to shut myself off from my friends. In isolation, I all but forfeit the game to the enemy, the father of lies who hates my guts. He knows his demons have a much easier time getting a foothold if I "tough it out" on my own.
I hope you are making plans to join us at the Lodge next Friday, May 4, at 6:15 AM. We will be hearing from our brother, Marcus Easley. His story is a cautionary tale about the dangers of isolation, but even more so, an encouragement about the life change that happens when someone steps out to be a friend. You will not want to miss Marcus' story!
...the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. -1 Samuel 18:1,3