My husband and I had our Spring Break early this year. (We can do that since we’re empty nesters.) So two weeks ago found us on the side of a mountain taking what was supposed to be an easy morning walk. Neither of us knew what we were getting ourselves into when we started our climb and by the time we did, we were too stubborn to give up. Later, I found out the trail we hiked was only 1.7 miles, but since those miles were 80% vertical, our time on the trail began to feel a lot like a two hour workout on a stair-stepper.
The two of us have hiked a lot of miles together over the years, and we soon fell into our regular pattern. When the trail got narrow, he would lead the way, and if the climb was especially steep, he’d reach back and lend me a hand up. I didn’t think much of it until we got to a very narrow portion of vertical rock. We’d stepped to the side to allow some other hikers to come down. A young mom with a toddler on her back was part of the group, but when my husband offered her a hand to help her down, she waved him off. Clearly she could do this on her own.
I get it. The word “dependent” gets a bad rap in our society. Phrases like “co-dependency,” “drug and alcohol dependency,” and “dependent personality disorder” bring out the negative aspect of the word. We like to think we’re stronger than that, capable of conquering our mountains on our own. But is it always a weakness to depend on others for help?
A wise man once said:
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
We Americans are an independent lot. It’s in our DNA—that do-it-yourself, pull-yourself-up-by-the bootstraps mentality. In many ways it’s a good quality, but sometimes we cling to our independence to our detriment. We let our pride keep us from help we so desperately need. The Pharisees are a prime example, so sure of their own ability to be righteous they completely missed the salvation Jesus offered. But here are the facts: if you are human, you need a Savior. If that weren’t the case, then what was the point of the cross?
And if you are human, no matter how strong or capable you may be, there will come a time you’ll need the help of others. As we made the climb that morning, there were many on the path stronger than I. Several were using the path as a jogging trail, and I marveled at their ability to take on the steep angles and loose rocks at such a pace. But on the way down, we came across one of the young runners being helped down the trail between two other hikers. Apparently, he’d fallen and hurt an ankle. Strong as he was, there was no way he could make it off the mountain alone. In fact, by the time we reached the bottom of the trail, the emergency vehicles had arrived. Even the two Samaritans who’d stopped to help weren’t enough to get him off that mountain. They’d called in the professionals.
Our Equip Her community is the perfect place to find friends who are willing to hike alongside you, lend a helping hand when you need it, or even shoulder your weight through the really rocky patches. Trust me, having people in your life you can depend on is the best way to navigate this world. Don’t let pride stand in the way of that blessing.