We're All In This Together by Chase Butler
By Chase Butler
By Kevin Zadai
Have you ever met someone you immediately had a meaningful connection with? What about a whole group of people? I was reminded last week that a little bit of vulnerability can turn complete strangers into good friends.
"In my walks, every man I meet is my superior in some way, and in that I learn from him."- Ralph Waldo Emerson
When every person you meet isn't a problem to avoid or fix, judge or categorize, they can become your teacher. And when you put several of these people in the same room, it's even more powerful. I think that's what happened to me last week.
You realize the old phrase, "Be kind to every person you meet, for they're fighting a battle you know nothing about," is always true. No one is going through this life without some bumps and bruises.
We need each other, and sometimes it's a stranger from the other side of the country that has the word of encouragement you need. It kinda makes you want to stop every person you walk by, right?
When you are able to sit and listen, with an open posture, to see "the image of God in me greeting the image of God in you," you unlock what I believe we were truly made for in this life—relationship, a pure flow in this divine dance.
Is there ever a more appropriate time to warn of the dangers of comparison and envy than the holidays? The most curated, edited versions of our lives are on display for all to see like never before in the history of humankind. Don't get me wrong, I love seeing your families, delicious food, presents, trips, and more. "It's the most wonderful time of the year." I'm no Scrooge/Grinch. This time of the year can bring a quiet darkness, though, for many. It's a darkness I believe is exacerbated by the glossy, personal PR campaigns that provide online, addictive platforms like Facebook and Instagram free content.
For those who grew up in the Church, are there specific visuals from scripture that sank in the deepest? One of the most vivid for me is when Jesus talked about the small gate and narrow road. It wasn't until the last few years that I started to understand it differently. "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." (Matthew 7:13-14) Then: Most people will go to Hell. Very few people will go to Heaven. The majority of all humans to ever live will be separated from God for eternity.
We often want clear-cut answers, black and white, "just tell me what to do!" It's nothing new. An expert in the law asked Jesus how to inherit eternal life. In true Jesus-fashion, he responded with a question. "What is written in the law? How do you read it?" Jesus asked. He answered, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"