It must be our highest priority.
An old story is told of two men who went fishing in a small boat. The day was uneventful until one of them hooked a huge fish, which, in the struggle, pulled him overboard. He couldn't swim and began to panic.
"Help!" he yelled. "Save me!"
The friend reached over and grabbed the man by the hair to pull him closer to the boat. But when he tugged, the man's toupee came off and he slipped down under the water again.
He came up shouting, "Hey, help me! I can't swim!"
So the friend reached down again and this time latched onto the struggling man's arm. But when he pulled, the arm came off! It was an artificial limb.
The drowning man continued to kick and thrash around and his friend reached out a third time. This time he grabbed a leg and pulled. You guessed it -- a wooden leg.
The man continued splashing and sputtering and calling out, "Help me!" until his friend finally called back in disgust, "How can I help you if you won't stick together?"
And that is a metaphor for each of us. How can people in marriages and families stand a chance when they won't stick together? How can religious communities, civic groups, schools and businesses get anywhere when they won't stick together? And how can a nation or even our global village function well when it won't stick together?
None of us lives in isolation. This experience we call life is a group outing. We're in it together. And some conflict along the way is inevitable. But our highest priority, when all is said and done, has to be commitment to each other – sticking together.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu put it this way:
“We are made for goodness. We are made for love. We are made for friendliness. We are made for togetherness. We are made for all of the beautiful things that you and I know. We are made to tell the world that there are no outsiders. All are welcome: black, white, red, yellow, rich, poor, educated, not educated, male, female, gay, straight, all, all, all. We all belong to this family, this human family, God's family.”I can't say it any more clearly.
-- Steve Goodier
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