Traveling on a plane from the east coast to the west, we riders sat shoulder to shoulder, like eggs in a box. We faced, and overcame challenges so as to co-exist.
The strength of our co-existence came about due to a shared goal—to get to the west coast.
Determined to get west, we applied deodorant, sat still, and turned off cell-phones. We denied our foibles and kept our chatter to a minimum. We didn’t whine about the food, the stinky bathroom, or the guy next to us snoring.
You bet, the longer the plane ride, the harder it gets to deny our human ego—wanting more space, raring to prove itself right, indulge itself, or go to war.
But on our trip, no one lost sight of the goal to reach the west coast. No one cracked.
Our primary goal to reach the west was bolstered by individual goals: visit a loved one, help a loved one, see a grandchild, be a grandchild, or tour a grand place. It was proof that we can co-exist.
Co-existence—whether on a plane, in a marriage, or in religion—is bolstered by individual goals. However, if the primary goal gets replaced by any particular individual goal, the co-existing falters.
The primary goal of loving our spouse can’t be replaced by self-love.
The primary goal of loving our children can’t be replaced by giving them things rather than our time and honest attention.
The primary goal of loving God can’t be replaced with love for an ideology or material object.
Philippians 3:14 (ESV)
“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”