The car had to go in the shop. It was my first year at The Church of St. Benedict. My fiance' lived in the city. That day, I needed to get downtown for a meeting. Gulp…I was going to have to ask someone for a ride to a train station. I didn’t know anyone in Bolingbrook but church folk, and I squirmed because it didn’t seem very pastor-like to ask one of them to drive me somewhere. I could call a cab - but that seemed silly. Was it really such a big deal to ask someone for a ride?
I fretted for a while, looked through the church directory, and fingered my phone. Finally, I took a breath and tried someone who I thought would be home that day. To my surprise and relief, she actually said she’d be happy to pick me up and take me to the station. And you know what? We had a great conversation on the way. And as far as I can tell, she doesn't think less of me (whew!).
That sounds so ridiculous. But it’s hard to ask for help. I still squirm when I have to do it. But I’ve learned it’s necessary if I want to live a life that’s Not Crazy. I’ve also learned that I feel more connected to other people when I ask for help. I feel less lonely. And I feel more connected to God.
I’ve noticed that people actually can be flattered – even honored – when you ask them for help. And helping others is one of the most satisfying things we do, as human beings. It's actually a generous gesture if we can allow others to help us.
God created us to be in relationship with one another. In Genesis, after creating Adam, God says to himself, “It’s not good for this person to be alone!” (2:18, my paraphrase). Jesus sent his disciples out two by two. The Acts of the Apostles, the story of the church, is a book about people working together.
Life is better lived alongside other people. God feels closer when you connect with others ("where two or three are gathered..." Mt.18:20). Life is better when you don't try to do it all by yourself. Thanks be to God!