Borrowing from Bruce Mullan—Associate Director Church Solidarity (Pacific) Uniting World Sydney, Australia
Definitely worth a read and a couple of minutes of pondering what he says……enjoy.
Bible for the day
So Ebed-Melech took the men with him and went to a room under the
treasury in the palace. He took some old rags and worn-out clothes from
there and let them down with ropes to Jeremiah in the cistern.
In secondary school everyone tends to walk around in packs. No one
wants to be seen alone as people would think that they had no friends.
At boarding school, my friends and I would often sit on the edge of the
Courtyard where we could watch people come and go. I remember regularly
watching a group of guys who acted like they ruled the school. They
would often make fun of the younger students, they always pushed in
front of people in the canteen line and they felt it was their right –
if not their obligation – to make comments about any of the girls that
crossed their path. I thought that they were the most hideous people I
had ever met.
One weekend I found myself arriving early at the dining hall and the
only other person who was already there was Archie. He was one of the
boys in this hideous group and I almost kept walking, willing to forfeit
my meal rather than be in the presence of someone so rude. However, my
stomach won over my head and I sat on the steps waiting for the dining
hall to be open. To my great surprise Archie acknowledged my presence
and said g’day. A few cordial greetings lead to a short conversation
and soon enough we were discussing what we had been doing over the
weekend. I was truly amazed that a member of this pack of boys would
even notice me let alone open themselves up to some dialogue. Soon
enough a few other people came to wait at the dining hall door and our
conversation was interrupted, but I was intrigued by the whole encounter
as I had briefly witnessed the real person behind this pack of boys.
When someone becomes a part of a group they will often do things that
they would never do on their own. When Archie was on his own he would
never pick on the younger boys or push in front of people or say
demeaning things to the girls. In fact, he would often become polite,
intelligent and pleasant. However, when he found himself surrounded by
other lads he would take on the characteristics of the pack. The
‘packs’ we find ourselves in may not be as hideous as this group of
boys, but we may find ourselves changing slightly depending on the
people we are around.
In Jeremiah chapter 38 we see two different ‘packs’ of men. The first
pack takes it upon themselves to throw Jeremiah the prophet in to a
cistern where he is left to starve to death. The other pack works
together to get Jeremiah out and save his life.
The people we surround ourselves with can lead us down a path of
destruction or a path of positivity. Either way, it is always our
choice as to what we are willing to do and who we associate with. It’s
sometimes important to stop, reflect on our lives and ask, ‘Is the
‘pack’ I am associated with making me a better person?’