Someone at some point said ‘No man is an island’. I think that basically is a sentiment that states we were built for community, and actually life is not designed to do it alone. Sometimes of course we can boss it and get a job done, but there are for sure times when we have to cry uncle and allow others to come in and help us. And usually when we do that the job gets done even better.
‘Teamwork makes the dreamwork‘ is a little mantra we are forever saying to each other at my work. One of my favourite things about my current job is how much people are willing to lend a hand. I often feel bad because I have to ask for people to do bits of my job simply because I don’t have access to all the resources due to the fact I work remotely. And when it comes to setting up a cheer station, you need extra hands. Someone will bring the cable ties, another one of the banners, another person a megaphone, another person a supply of jelly babies so no one person is left doing everything. I’ll be forever grateful to the lovely ladies from other charities who came and gave me a hand at Edinburgh Marathon when my teammates couldn’t be with me.
The story I told the campers on this morning was about Moses. Some of you might know this bible character as the guy who parted the Red Sea, the lead character in the animated movie, the Prince of Egypt. There are many ugly battles and strange stories that appear in the Old Testament as we follow the trials, tribulations and adventures of Moses. But there’s one that has always stuck with me.
“The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. 9 Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.”
10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning.12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.”- Exodus 17: 8-13 (emphasis mine!)
Now battling aside, the picture that sticks with me is Aaron and Hur getting the stone, bringing it to Moses so he could sit and holding his arms in the air when he couldn’t hold them up anymore.
It made me think of the time when I was trying to get my final coursework done for my postgraduate degree and my friend dropped off food at my door to keep me fuelled when I needed to just keep going. Or when I was ill with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and my friend would drive to my flat, take me to worship practice at church, have a seat ready for me when I couldn’t stand to sing anymore. When my friend gave birth and was so ill afterwards people came to look after her baby so that doctors and nurses could look after her.
When we fall off the surfboard, our friends can help us get back on. When we are trying to catch a wave, someone can watch and yell when to paddle and pop up. When we are fighting a wind as we carry boards from the beach, someone can come along and lend you a hand. When you feel that your wetsuit has turned into a straightjacket that is superglued to your body, people can come along and pull and peel that thing off you.
Makes the dream work.