Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Mid-Week Message - Needing One Another

Can you remember playing games (kickball, I Spy, board games, tag, hide and go seek, etc.) as a child?  Countless hours were spent moving game pieces or chasing friends around in the yard. Games are good for passing time, for building relationships, for developing sportsmanship and for learning about ourselves.  They have changed over the years and that is sad.  Now with handheld devices, games are more often played alone which negates competition with another human being or learning to operate within a team.

In our family, the game of Wahoo was a favorite.  If you are unfamiliar with Wahoo, it is a board game where the dice are rolled and marbles are moved until one person's marbles all make it "home". This was the one game that we could be sure our father would play.  The fun thing was watching him and trying to catch him at cheating.   We would watch his hand through each move absolutely sure that we would see him miscounting.  We never did.  The laughter that brought though was priceless, as was the time with him and the bonding that took place over that board.

Through that simple game and those hours spent with our father, we learned a lot about how to interact with each other.  We also saw parenting modeled in a magnificent way and came to terms with our own frustrations with losing rather than winning.  Most of all, we learned how much we need each other.

Isolation is becoming more and more common now and it is starting at younger ages than ever before.  Computers, cell phones and cable television make it easy to accomplish everyday tasks without ever leaving our homes.  Children are spending time with their handheld games or their X-Boxes rather than playing tag outside.  Even some schools are encouraging more online time. Studies done regarding isolation show decreases in mental and physical health and increases in addictions.

When God created mankind, He never intended for us to live our lives alone.  From Genesis 2:18 when He said, "It is not good for man to be alone", to Hebrews 10 when we are admonished to not give up meeting together, we are reminded that we are created to be within a community.  We need each other for encouragement, for companionship, for compassion, for learning and for support.  It isn't impossible to grow spiritually if we are alone but is a lot easier if we are surrounded by other believers.  We can worship together, confess our sins to one another, have a shoulder to cry on. Sometimes, we need "Jesus with skin on" and that is a role only another believer can fulfill.

If you, or someone you know, is isolating themselves away from others, please reach out.  Maybe they just need to know someone misses them.  It is hard to think clearly when we are very lonely.  It may take a few invitations or simple conversations before they allow you into their sheltered world, but it will be such a gift for both of you once they do.  Be an encourager.  Maybe plan a game night.  A little laughter can go a long way.

John 13:35  "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."


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