N.B. Looking back on what I was thinking about this time last year I was surprised to find that it is almost identical to what I have been thinking about for the last few days. I would encourage you to read my old blog from back then, and also others that I have written, as I often find reading back helps me to relearn lessons that I have forgotten.
These last few days I have been thinking about togetherness. There is a great video that Phil has shown in church a few times about Rick and Dick Hoyt who complete so much more together than could on their own. It's a great example of what I'm trying to rediscover. I love the thought of me and a certain seven-year-old walking anywhere together. Because there will always come a point on our journey (or perhaps, even before we set out) when he will ask for 'shoulders' or a piggy-back. Sometimes it is because he is tired and can't walk anymore, but mostly he just wants a free ride, or the acknowledgement that he's still small enough and I'm still strong enough to do it. And 99% of the time, I oblige, because it's quite sweet when he asks, and its a bond that we share.
We are all on a journey. (How many times have I blogged that, this year?) But we are not on this journey alone - or rather, we can all choose not to travel it alone. There are people around us every day, whom we can share this journey with, and likewise, we must make time ourselves to share in journeys with other people. And there are times on our journey when we need to ask someone for that reminder that they are ready to support us when we are too tired to carry on, just like we, in turn, must support them in their weaknesses.
This morning, Rev. Pete Tom preached about the good reasons why it is important for christians to meet with someone in which to share and learn. I myself have experienced the goodness of one-to-one fellowship and really grown as a result of that, so I appreciated what he was saying. But there was one little bit which really stuck with me from this morning, which I shall quote loosely here:
"There are things you are prepared to share one-to-one which you would never share, even in a small group. You can feel amazingly safe. Going on a journey into unknown territory: it always feels better to share that adventure with someone else, rather than going there by yourself, especially if the other person has been there before."
[p21 - 'Making Disciples One-To-One, Peter Thomas © 2008]
I guess what I'm trying to say is this: [after three hours of attempting to write this blog...] We all have a choice. And actually, it is a choice we must think very seriously about. As followers of Christ, we must strive to be like him in all aspects of our lives. Jesus had friends and disciples to share his journey with him, and even as He was crucified, He had a man on either side sharing in his pain, anguish and torment, and many more watching from afar, mourning and grieving him. But they all, in one way or another, learnt something from sharing the journey with him - either by something he did or said, or something he didn't do or say. And He, in turn, was moved/affected by the people he met and talked to. (Lets face it, it wouldn't be much of a gospel message if Jesus just wandered about in the desert for three years...)
Like my seven-year-old friend, we mustn't be afraid to ask someone when we need a bit of help to carry on, or maybe just someone to make us feel that little less alone. Because, if we really need it, where does not asking leave us? Don't be embarrassed to say, 'Hey, I'm feeling a bit pants. Give us a hand, yeah?' Because if they are able to help, and you are helped, then that's what is really important. And hey, you are always welcome to drop me an email/comment if you really are desperate for a friend, cause I can always do with one more. :)
Ahh. I think I'm finished. This has got to be worthy of a comment or two by the people that read this - I've spent over three hours trying to work out what I'm trying to say, I at least deserve to know whose read it!