“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.”
~Ecclesiastes 4:9 (NRSV)
Helping my father with my parents’ lawns each fortnight is one way of staying connected as well as ensuring important maintenance work is done—and completed in a way that is easier in accomplishment together than alone. Without a word said, we spur each other quietly on.
It’s noticed, also, when it comes to working out—gym activities are always more fun when done with a partner.
Doing and achieving things together has an important practical component—that the work gets done—and it’s also a way that intimacy can be procured and enhanced in a healthily distractive setting.
Teamwork And Loneliness
For all the downsides in doing things together—like having to compromise on methods and rein in selfishness—it is by far more preferable than struggling, alone, at tasks that either require two people or would be more fun done that way.
Loneliness is just as much about a lack of felt intimacy—with other people or with ourselves—as it is anything else. It’s a state of heart that defies the moment’s reconciliation to be at peace. No one relishes it.
This is why cherishing time to do things together is about enjoying the fellowship as much as it is doing the task itself. We all have memories of group-times that, for the life of us, we would love to replicate, but can’t—truly great times that can never quite be totally recaptured in the present day.
So, the activity completed is one thing, but the time together—whether a twosome or a whole group—is entirely another thing; the task is material and the fellowship is spiritual. One we can almost put a price on; the other we can’t.
Things Done Together – Double The Purpose And Meaning
Whenever we do things together we urge each other on—if not vocally, then it’s by recognition of the witness of the other person: we see them work and it inspires us to follow their lead and vice versa.
Things done together unveil the blessings of community; even the twosome. The promise of Jesus’ presence—“where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there also”—becomes, at some sense, the visible reality for those involved (Matthew 18:20). What they do, they do for goodness and grace—it brings out our individual best.
Achieving things as an individual might always be inferior to achieving things together. The help of a friend or our help to them is the operant kindness of God when done willingly. It is perhaps the simplest of blessings.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.