“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:24
Tuesday mornings at 7:30 you will almost always find me at the same place, meeting with a small group of men. We’ve been meeting together for years, and unlike what you might think it is not a bunch guys drinking coffee and gabbing about sports and politics, far from it. No, we meet for a specific purpose with a strict agenda that begins with a brief prayer after which each of us shares three things: (1) what is going on in our relationship with God; (2) what each of us is studying to increase his knowledge and understanding; and (3) what we are doing individually to help someone else, or to make the community and the world a better place. That hour on Tuesday morning is without question the most inspiring and powerful time I spend during my week; thus, I seldom miss. Nothing I do influences and holds me accountable for the way I live my life from week to week more than spending time with that group of friends.
I used to think I could do things on my own, or at least I liked to think I could. Part of that came from the belief that I needed to somehow prove myself, my self-sufficiency and self-worth. We Americans tend to glorify rugged individualism, those who make it by pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps. I wanted to be like that, so I thought. But that’s not really how life works, is it; for how would I have ever gotten to where I am today without the help of others?
The most minimal review of human history bears witness to this, that the mere survival of mankind, indeed its advancement, has depended on the formation of communities providing mutual support for one another – tribes and villages, towns and cities, not to leave out the most basic family unit. In today’s world communities develop to support all sorts of common human needs – neighborhoods, schools, churches, civic clubs, sports teams, orchestras, businesses and workplaces to name a few.
This past week I noticed an elderly lady, a stranger, standing next to me at a crosswalk who seemed a bit unsure of herself stepping off the curb. I offered my hand, which she gratefully accepted. We all need a helping hand, don’t we? It is why communities exist. “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”