One of the cable shows that I enjoy watching is called “Alone.”  The premise of this show is to simply survive.  Survive longer than any of the other contestants.  The winner gets a hefty prize – $500K.  The catch – you have to do it alone.  Completely alone.

Each contestant possesses amazing survival skills.  They make their own fire, find water, food, build shelter, protect themselves from predators, all while they are in an incredibly remote, inhospitable area.  Extremely cold temps are the norm.  Every contestant is given a satellite phone to use in case of emergencies.  To use the satellite phone means you are quitting.  Tapping out.  Once you make the call, there is no turning back.  A boat or helicopter will arrive within hours to pick you up.

Some contestants struggle to find adequate food and end up tapping out.  Some have injured themselves and have had to make the call for rescue.  But the reason that most of the contestants quit is because they can’t stand to be alone any longer.  As mentioned above, they have the survival skills to go on for many months or even years.  However, the thought of being utterly and completely ALONE is too much to bear.  In the end, many reason that they would rather see and be with their loved ones than to continue in that lonely place another day.  So…they forego the $500K prize and they make the call.

To me, this show is always so interesting because it graphically demonstrates a biblical principle that became evident at the dawn of Creation.  Man was made for community. 

In the beginning, all of God’s creation was good.  After each day of creation activity, the Lord concluded it with the comment “God saw that it was good.”  Genesis 2:18 wakes us out of this routine when it states that the Lord said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.”  In response to this situation that was “not good,” God created the first human to human community – marriage.  After this relationship was established, Genesis 1:31 states “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.”  So from the earliest verses of Scripture, we see that we were created for companionship.

Also seen in the Garden is the fact that the goodness of human community finds its immediate expression in the family – husband, wife, and children.  Have you experienced this reality afresh and anew during this unusual time of quarantine?  While we long for life to return to “normal,” a great blessing of this time (hopefully) has been a renewed focus on connection together as a family.

However, many of us are still suffering from a significant lack of human-human community because of the worldwide pandemic.  And this is certainly apparent by our inability to meet corporately at the church.

The Apostle Paul, with his numerous imprisonments, was no stranger to isolation.  When he wrote to the Romans, his heart’s desire was to meet face-to-face with them (Rom. 1:11 “For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established.”).  As great as technology is (and I am so thankful for how we’ve been able to use it at CRBC), we long for that day when we will be able to congregate again face to face.  Hopefully because of this experience, we will pursue times of fellowship with renewed passion and focus, and with a zeal that makes all earthly pursuits pale by comparison.

In the meantime, keep reaching out to each other.  Keep making phone calls, sending texts, Facetiming, and writing good “old fashioned” letters to one another.  Purpose in your heart to be an encouragement to someone today.  As we struggle personally, we are all helped immensely by focusing on being a blessing to someone else.

How would you do on the “Alone” cable show?  Would being alone for 100+ days be worth half a million dollars?  It may sound inviting – but that’s not how our Creator made us!  Endeavor today to be in community with each other during this time.  Because that’s how God made us.

When we meet together again, may we do so with the intent to “exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.” (Ps. 107:32).

~Pastor Steve