Anyone singing? “We’re better together cuz God made us that way.” It’s from my kids’ favorite episode of the Good Sports Gang, and I love the message it teaches them. How many of you have had the following interactions?
“How are you?”
“Can I help with that?”
“Oh, no! I couldn’t ask you to do that!”
I know that I have heard comments like these hundreds of times. Our society teaches us that to need help is weakness. Ladies, you must be supermom! Get the kids to school & practice, get yourself to a job where you’re as successful as any man, make a healthy dinner using no processed foods, and make sure that you have six pack abs! Men, our society has been no less kind to you. You are to be a providing robot. Please, make a lot of money and look good but in all other areas we expect you to be a total buffoon. Maybe I’ve been watching too much TV, but this is the message I see all too often. One thing is certain, you are to obtain your optimum level of perfection on your own. Do not ask for help.
I really do not understand this concept. God did not create us to be alone or to do everything on our own. We feel better about ourselves when we are together. How many times have I spent time with friends, either in a formal Bible study or just sitting on the dock with our feet in the water, and it’s a great time just because we are together? We share and we know that we are important to someone.
Maybe it’s a concept that is too difficult for us to understand. After all, trying to explain it does sound a little like a waste of time.
“What did you do today?”
“Oh, nothing really. I hung out with an amazing friend talking about husbands, kids, and coping with life.”
“Hmmmm . . . . that doesn’t sound like Supermom.”
So I admit, it’s difficult to make it sound impressive. But think about how it makes you feel. To open your heart to a good friend and feel valuable to them, to accept help from someone when you really do need it, it’s a time when we can really feel God working in our lives. Do not feel like you are being selfish or needy! The person doing the helping gets the satisfaction of feeling needed and loving another as Jesus commands. Let them.
We are so prone to curling up in our own little life. A few days ago I took my van in for some maintenance. While waiting, I had a choice: sit next to an older lady sitting at one edge of the room or purposely put as much distance between her and myself and check email on my phone. I sat with one seat between us and said, “hello.” By the time I left, I knew that she was 70 years old – though I wouldn’t have guessed it, joy has kept this woman young! Her family did not own a car until she was 15 and she did not get her driver’s license until she was 41, but she did learn to fly a plane when she was younger. I realized she was serious about being 70 when she said, “My son is supposed to be picking me up. Kids! Well, he’s not really a kid. He’s 50.”
My point is that this conversation gave me such joy, and I would like to think that it gave her some, too, just because we had someone to talk to for a while. I can assure you that I would not have felt the same way walking out of there had I just spent the time on email and Pinterest.
I try to ignore the message that the world projects. I have done an excellent job of tuning out that one about fabulous abs. Granted, I am blessed that I do not have a typical job, so I am free to spend more of my day considering how I might be a blessing to others (and letting them be a blessing to me). Recently I even asked a few people to critique a manuscript for me. It was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done, not only baring myself in my writing but asking for help at the same time. Guess what. People were excited that I had asked them! My hands were literally shaking, but it was totally worth it.
I encourage you all today to “waste some time” just hanging out with a friend. Ask someone for help. Be a little needy. Maybe you really have it all together, you really feel like supermom. You have friends that are not feeling that way – give them a call.