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April 24

Thursday, April 25th, 2024

Standing back-to-back.

One of my favorite movies is Gladiator with Russell Crowe playing Maximus Decimus Meridius. At the very beginning of the movie the Roman army, led by Maximus, is fighting the barbarians. The focus goes to Maximus and at one point in the hand-to-hand combat he turns to put his sword through an enemy only to find he is batting back-to-back with one of his own men.

That scene came to my mind as I read Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 this morning (I’ve included reading through Ecclesiastes in my daily Bible reading).  “Two people are better off that one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated. But two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”  (NLT) I’ve highlighted the phrase that drew me to that movie scene. That is indicative, in fact, of that whole passage. We cannot and were not meant to do life alone. The one who thinks he/she needs no one is in for a rude awakening.

I know there are those who proudly say, “I can do this without your help.” Little kids are prone  to say that and even push their parents’ hands away with words like, “I can do it.” Maybe. Maybe not. But that is a dangerous philosophy when facing life’s daily grind. No one is an island. And NO ONE can do life alone. One of the most miserable men on the planet was multi-millionaire Howard Hughes who lived as a virtual recluse because he was foolish enough to think he didn’t need or could trust anyone else.

Listen to Ecclesiastes 4: “Two people are better than one…but someone who falls alone is in real trouble…but two can stand back-to-back and conquer.” Find someone you can trust and do life together. Don’t try it alone.