I have a friend who had a bad hair day recently. It was amazing how strong the feelings were about being away from people! Their goal was being alone, pure and simple. They did not want to talk to anyone. They did not want to be around anyone. They strongly wanted to be out of sight, out of mind, and out of reach. The main reason I noticed was because of how diplomatic they were; with extreme politeness they informed each person that invaded their space that they just did not want to be in anyone’s presence. If you stayed, they left. If you left, they were content.
In contrast, I walked back into the City today with all the politics, scheming, and agendas. The contrast could not be more complete. People reaching for what is not rightfully theirs. People grasping for what legitimately belongs to another. People painting themselves in glory based on another’s work. Stabbings are common place, ambushes more the norm than anyone is willing to acknowledge, and ignorance is the preferred way to look with open eyes.
“A greedy and grasping person destroys community; those who refuse to exploit live and let live.” (Proverbs 15.27)
I love community. At the same time I know that I usually do not understand how those traveling in life got to where they are at. Who am I to say that I would behave any differently than they are if I had walked the journey in their shoes? Am I so sure that my way was right that I am willing to condemn others?
I wonder how much value community has. Solomon seems to have struck the right balance. It is clear that one who exploits or focuses on their own survival is a leach to the world around them. The goal of letting others have freedom does have boundaries and it is driven first by my own motives. All of us have bad hair days; my prayer is that mine does not become yours! God offers you and I a fresh start; all-times.