Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Love Connection

I have thought about this sermon a few times in the last weeks. Here are some excerpts from a message I brought years ago that may speak to us in our relative isolation today:

Can you imagine a grown man crying hysterically about losing his volleyball?
            Incredible? Silly? Not if you saw the film Cast Away. (Spoiler alert)
Something else incredible is the people who watched the Tom Hanks movie and cried along with him when he lost Wilson.
            They understood.
                        They connected with what he felt.
The sole survivor of a FedEx plane crash over the Pacific, he washes ashore along with other debris.
Among the items is a volleyball, brand Wilson.
As he attempts to rub wood together to start a fire, Hanks’ character badly cuts his hand and in frustration picks up this volleyball and hurls it.
He later notices that his bloody handprint looks like a face and so he finishes the impression with his blood.
Thus, this volleyball becomes his companion, his conversation partner…even someone to argue with.

       We all have a basic drive to connect.
To connect with others…to belong.
It goes beyond just not wanting to be alone.
It is to be a part of something greater.
We are hopefully blessed to be part of families.
We are also able to choose others to connect with.
Especially close people perhaps become mates.
Some are blessed with best friends.
Others are more blessed to have a tight circle of friends or co-workers or organization, such as say … a church.

            Have you ever felt that electric connection in a crowd?
I felt that electric current recently at a basketball game during the National Anthem.
I looked around at all the people and knew we didn’t share the same opinion about everything and we sure didn’t all look the same, but there we were with our hands on our hearts, one nation under God.

            That electric atmosphere is a very real phenomenon.
Large numbers of people come together not as an unruly mob, but as an entity greater than itself … cheering, praising or singing the words to the same song.
            It can give you goose bumps.
Performers often say they have done particularly well because of the connection with the audience.
            It is like a circuit is completed.
Concert means: unity, harmony, accord, agreement.

You may remember a mine accident that happened in 2002 in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
Nine miners were trapped for over 3 days when their shaft flooded with icy cold water.
After several failed rescue attempts, the governor told the media that a little help from the Almighty might be needed.
The day after they were pulled from the ground, the public found out about a vow the miners had made.
The decided to “live or die together” and had tied themselves to one another with rope so if they drowned they would all be found.
It kept individuals from floating away from the group and helped huddle them to keep them warm in the freezing water.
Their connection helped them survive.

That need to connect is God given.
God made us to be in relationship.
            In relationship with Him and one another.
It is part of our very make-up.

When you say the word, “connect” these days, for most people it now means getting online on the Internet.
       Did you know that in 1992, there were only 50 web pages?
Part of the reason for the explosive growth was how scientific minds across the globe got connected and worked together to create something greater than any them could have imagined.

(A common refrain during this COVID-19 crisis is "We are in this together." I hope that when this passes, we will never take our togetherness for granted and focus on the things that unite rather than divide us.)

No comments:

Post a Comment