Don’t Do It Alone

Ecclesiastes 4:8-12–“There is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he hath neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labour; neither is his eye satisfied with riches; neither saith he, For whom do I labour, and bereave my soul of good? This is also vanity, yea, it is a sore travail. Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

Prov. 11:14—“Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of

 counsellors there is safety.”

            Recently I was cleaning out old files and notebooks.  The hard plastic shelves on which the notebooks were sitting were cracking badly, so I needed to lighten their load.  One thing led to another, and I got rid of several garbage bags full of stuff.  Some of it was business records from a failed small greenhouse produce business I tried for a few years in the 1990’s.  I spent a lot of time looking over papers as I pitched them.  I did a great deal of shredding and cutting.  I could have trashed more than I did.  Nonetheless, it was necessary to do what was done.

            I was amazed by how much research and planning I had done to get my business off the ground.  I had forgotten how much time and effort I had put into it.  Among other things, there were many typed notes documenting phone calls I made to various individuals, businesses, and government agencies.  Many articles from magazines and other papers brought back a number of memories.  This person discussed such and such with me.  That person gave me this bit of information or counsel and encouragement.  It was a bit depressing throwing all that paper away because of all it represented to me.  But that phase of my life was over and should have been put aside a long time ago.

            The above Scripture passages came to mind.  What really impressed itself upon me was that such an endeavor as running a business can’t be done well, if at all, by one person.  It simply can’t be done alone.  Not only is it necessary to interact with many along the way, but any major endeavor in life requires help and support from those who can come alongside.  In my case, my business venture was undermanned.  A large part of my trouble was logistics—getting produce, such as it was, to market.  It didn’t help that one grocery store I sold to went out of business.  I had great expectations, but it turned out that I was better at writing a business plan than executing one.

            My dad used to tell me all the time when I was young that I needed to learn to rub shoulders with the rest of the world.  I’m afraid that advice has never gone down well with me.  Nonetheless, it isn’t possible to do many important things in life as a lone wolf or hermit, no matter how much I might wish to the contrary.  Christ Himself chose 12 apostles to carry out the spreading of the Gospel.  When He sent them to fellow Jews, they went in pairs.  I’ve learned over the years to value the Body of Christ more highly than I have in the past, but I frankly don’t find many Christians appealing or to my liking.  From time to time I have to remind myself, or be reminded, that we believers do need each other and are part of His Body for a reason.  An old saying says we’ll never make it out of this life alive.  I’ll modify that to say we’ll never make it through this life alone.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Christian Life, Helping Others, Thoughts from John

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