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Bear One Another’s Burdens, Galatians 6:1-10

Enough for Everyone

Last week my spouse and I went to the choir concert of one of the kids that hangs out at our house. It was a beautiful concert, and the music was exquisite. I enjoyed the experience, and I especially enjoyed watching how very committed and dedicated the kids were to each other. It was the seniors' last concert, and there were lots of tears as they recognized the significance of the event, and felt the loss of beloved colleagues.

On the flip side, my spouse enjoyed it, but was a little bit bored. There was nothing to see. Which is funny, because I saw a lot. I saw the kids being attentive to their conductor. I saw how their body language changed with the different moods of the music. I saw how connected they were to one another, and how much they loved each other.

So it got me thinking. My spouse loves sporting events, and I can't stand them. Sure, there's plenty to see, but what's there to hear? (Ok, I'll admit, the sounds of a ballpark are cool.) I have a hard time following a game because to me, it's all the same. Pitch, strike. Pitch, hit. Run. Switch sides. Do it again. 

So why do I love a choir concert, while my spouse loves a ballgame? Knowing both our personalities well, it struck me -- I love collaboration and my spouse loves competition. I love to watch the love the kids collaborate -- how much they love each other and respect one another. They love to watch each other succeed. The better their colleagues do, the better the whole choir does. They don't have to step on or over anybody to be awesome.

On the flip side, a sporting event relies upon the efforts to step on or over another. The only way for one team to win is for another to lose. I get that competition makes us better, helps us strive for more, yada, yada. But at my core, I'd much rather be involved in a collaborative event than a competitive one. Even if I win, I feel bad for the loser. So I never really walk away from a competition feeling great.

I think this world is better when I strive for my best, while at the same time working hard to help others strive for their best. There's more than enough win, love, accomplishing, striving, collaborating, succeeding for everyone.

Narrative Lectionary Text: Galatians 6:1-10

My friends, if anyone is detected in a transgression, you who have received the Spirit should restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness. Take care that you yourselves are not tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. For if those who are nothing think they are something, they deceive themselves. All must test their own work; then that work, rather than their neighbor’s work, will become a cause for pride. For all must carry their own loads.

Those who are taught the word must share in all good things with their teacher.

Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow. If you sow to your own flesh, you will reap corruption from the flesh; but if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit. So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up. So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.