Last night I found myself in a familiar place. Well, it wasn’t the actual place that was familiar and while I did recognize a few faces there were more that I did not recognize. The space we were congregating in was just a hallway with a moveable partition separating us from much activity. It was the start of a women’s group hosted by my church. I couldn’t tell you how many of these groups I’ve been in over the years. Each of them unique whether it was the place or the host or the mechanics (books, videos, books and videos) the core was the same, women coming together to learn and probably even more importantly to have fellowship. One brave woman said it clearly last night, “I need a friend, a real friend. I know people but I don’t really have friends.” Isn’t that what we all want?
We’ve all heard or experienced being out in public and someone is looking up at the sky or into a pond and pretty soon nearly everyone passing by is doing the same. They don’t know what they are looking at but because someone is doing it, they join in. That’s just how easily those around you can influence you. Who do you have around you?
I noticed recently that my daughter and her husband joined an on-line challenge group to “eat clean” for 5 days. It can be called teamwork. It can be called accountability. It can be called encouragement. It can be called caring. It’s really all about relationships and it’s no respector of age. But, whatever you call it, it is powerful.
We were created for relationship there is just no way to get around it. Now I will be one of the first to say I need some “alone time” on a pretty regular basis but it doesn’t take terribly long before I’m going a bit crazy wanting to share and get someone’s thoughts on my most recent discovery. When we stay apart too long we being to become too focused on ourselves and we can believe things that we wouldn’t if we shared them with others. When our thoughts just roll around in our head without ever being exposed they can and often do morph into all sorts of crazy things. When shared with others those same thoughts can be debated, refined, and/or developed into the real truth. Often just saying our thoughts out loud reveals whether or not they are true or false. The group I just joined is all about becoming healthy, body, mind and spirit. I’m there because I have to quit believing the lie that I can’t stick with some healthy decisions. (namely exercise) I need to “flesh it out” with others. I need to allow some of what I know to really sink in and be accountable to live it out. Everyone in that group has something they hope to gain that they believe they cannot do/learn/be on their own. What about you? What are you trying to figure out today? Wouldn’t it be more productive to get some input. I’m challenging you to talk with someone or join that small group you’ve been thinking about. I know it can be a positive influence in your life.
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
Ecclesiastes 4:10 (NIV)