The Felt Need for Community
One sunny weekend, a pastor who had been faithful to preach nearly every Sunday of his 30-plus years of ministry found himself out of town and without a place to preach on Sunday.
He had attended a conference that ended Saturday, and since his flight home wasn’t scheduled until Monday, he had a notion to hit the local golf course, which just happened to be Pebble Beach.
He debated for a minute, struggling with the guilt of having bragged so many years that he never missed a Sunday at church while chiding others who had, but quickly resolved himself to playing 18 holes that morning, comforted with the fact no one would ever have to know.
At the same moment, there was another struggle taking place at the gates of Heaven. Satan was before the Lord accusing the pastor for his blatant hypocrisy and simultaneously accusing the Lord for going soft on such.
But the Lord was unmoved and responded simply “Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Satan slithered off mumbling something about Job and the good ole’ days.
As the pastor finished the first hole, he knew it was going to be a good day on the fairways. He drove the ball over 300 yards, chipped it to the green, and one-putted for a birdie.
The following holes were tantamount until he teed off at the 17th. There he bounced a 200 yard drive right into the cup for a hole-in-one.
The pastor was ecstatic. It was already the best game of his life—and now a hole-in-one to boot!
Satan was beside himself. Fuming with indignation, he huffed up to the Lord, and ranted: “What is this? You said the Judge of all the earth would do right, and you’ve gone and blessed this hypocrite with the best game of his life! And, what? A hole-in-one for spite? I have half a mind to— What are you going to do about this?”
“Nothing,” the Lord said. “Who’s he going to tell?”
This humorous story reminds us life is unfulfilled disconnected from others. Thus social media like Facebook and Pinterest are so popular.
The way we feel when we get good news, achieve a special accomplishment, or face adversity is indicative of the fact we were created to live in community with others. We want people to rejoice with us, to stand with us, or in some cases just be there for us at special and difficult times in our lives.
The opposite is also true. When we hear news about our friends or neighbors, whether good or bad, we want to talk about it. We want to talk with them so we can hear it from their perspective. We want to talk to others about it to share the experience with someone new (granted this is unhealthy when reduced to sordid gossip).
Nevertheless, for good intentions or bad, the fact that we want to share life with others makes it plausible to intuit life was meant to be shared.
About Scott Postma
Scott lives in North Idaho collecting more books than he'll ever read in a lifetime. He helps people cultivate their capacity to perceive and appreciate the good, the true, and the beautiful by sharing rich insights into the arts and humanities, meaningful perspective on faith and culture, and valuable tips on writing and teaching. You can subscribe to the tribe and follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus.