Reuben Welch wrote a book titled, We Really Do Need Each Other. It is a wonderful book, based on the biblical book, I John. There is a story at the back of the book that is worth the price of the book. The story is about a small class of college students climbing Hennigar Flats, a small mountain adjacent to their campus. To be successful, there had to be two attempts.
So, do we need each other?
A cow needs a herd. An ant needs a colony.
A duck needs a flock. A bee needs a hive.
A goose needs a gaggle. A chicken needs a clutch.
A lion needs a pride. A monkey needs a troop.
A quail needs a covey. A worm needs a bed.
We need each other. We really do need each other. Who we are with is of great importance.
Our name for our group may be “family.” It could be “congregation.” Deeper, “the people of God.”
Let me tell you a little bit of the two trips up Hennigar Flats. The group of students had been learning about group dynamics. That is why they thought they should do something together – the group needed to be dynamic with one another. The mountain was there, so why not go to the top?
As Welch tells it, they “made the sandwiches, brought the cold drinks, and the back packs” and “they started up the mountain together.”
“But it wasn’t long until the strong, stalwart ones were up in front and the other ones were back in the middle and way back at the end of the line was a girl named Jane – who was, you might say, out of shape.”
The strong hollered at the weak telling them to try harder. The others felt isolated and even alone. Having weakness pointed out did not seem to help. All did not make it to the top. They failed at the group dynamics. The group had divided up in various categories of strong and weak. They were not satisfied with the failure.
They decided to do it again! But this time they went together, the whole way. No fast group; no slow group. All the sandwiches were eaten, all the water bottles were empty, “but they all made it, together.”
As families, congregations and as the people of God, we try to go at group speed. Sometimes that is slow, but we arrive together! Darwin presented the thought of “the survival of the fittest”, but Jesus taught us to live and love, seeking the survival of the weakest.
This is a great season to consider joining up with others as we seek to be the people we need to be. We are celebrating the coming of Jesus. He comes along side us to accompany us in this journey. He sets the direction, but he walks with us. Let’s go with him. The group is so important. Let’s go together.
growing together in God’s love, one heart at a time
We Really Do Need Each Other
Reuben Welch, Impact Books, pages 106-111