Day 42, April 24, 2020
“It Is Not Good to Be Alone”
Taking our cue from the seven days of creation that are so vividly recounted in Genesis one, we are in the middle of seven days focusing on the word “good”. Today we approach good in a different way. Today we look at the one time in those early pages of the bible when we find something that is not good. When the first man was created and set up to succeed in the Garden of Eden, God noticed something that was not good. “It is not good for the man to be alone.”
Having been in various forms of isolation for some six weeks, I think we all have a much better appreciation for how it is “not good” to be alone. In Ecclesiastes the preacher takes note of a man who is alone. (Ecclesiastes 4:8) The preacher confirms what we have come to know all too well, is not good for that man to be alone.
The preacher continues, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity the person who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-11)
Sometime about 20 years ago Wayne and Julie went on a bike ride. It was a beautiful spring day. No sooner had the tires of our bicycles hit the pavement than Julie punched it into high gear. She blasted off, and for the next thirty miles I was in pursuit. I married a competitive person, and she showed no remorse as I panted in pursuit. I made no progress in my pursuit, but nevertheless I persisted. I persevered. And finally, she wore out. After thirty miles, she ran out of gas.
Seeing her slow down markedly, my macho instinct kicked in and I said, “Now is my chance to pass her up and show her who is the boss.” It was surprisingly easy. I gave an extra hard push of the pedal and in no time, I was not only drawing even I was edging ahead. With a smug look of satisfaction, I turned to her and smiled. The look on her face…you should have seen the look on her face. It was not the look of a vanquished opponent. It was the look of a concerned spouse. I didn’t understand why that look was on her face, until I turned back to the trail in front of us and realized a chain link fence was blocking our path.
Oh, that’s why she suddenly slowed down. Oooohhhh, and that is why I was suddenly in a bad way. Hitting my brakes with everything I had, I pulled too hard on the front brake, causing my front tire to stop just as I hit the chain link fence. My back tire shot up into the air. Thankfully I had my feet in toe clips, which meant my feet remained up in the air, stuck in the clips. At least I did not tumble off the bike and seriously hurt myself. Still, because my feet were up in the air, stuck in the toe clips, I had absolutely no way to get down. I now had a much better understanding of what God said to Adam in the Garden of Eden, “It is not good for man to be alone.” I was stuck.
I was stuck, but I was not alone. Julie, my dear and loving wife, was there. Boy was I ever thankful that Julie was there. She immediately raced over and rescued me. By immediately, I mean ten minutes after she rolled on the ground in laughter at how ridiculous I looked. I didn’t care at that point. At least when she finished laughing, she did not leave me dangling. She came and rescued me.
Friends, it is not good to be alone. Pity the person who falls and has no one to help them up. We are in isolation right now. In many ways we are alone, and we are alone on purpose because being alone has a very important purpose, to stop the spread of a terrible virus. In many ways we are alone, but we are not really alone. I hope you know that. I hope you know when you fall you can call. I hope you know when you are sad you can reach out. I hope you know when you are hurting there is help. I hope you know we are here to rejoice with those who rejoice and to weep with those who weep.
It is not good to be alone. And so, let me remind of what is good. “Behold how good and how pleasant it is when the children of God dwell together in unity.” We are not alone. We are united in the love of Christ. We are united in the Body of Christ. And that is a very good thing.
With the love of Christ,