As advice for climbing a tall and wobbly ladder, this aphorism speaks of the value of partnerships and mutual support. Extended, it could be taken as proclaiming the value of communal collectives such as food-purchasing clubs or cooperative housing. Note the use of the word “don’t” which implies we actually have the choice to “go it alone” - a suggestion some would counter as being impossible, if not absurd. We are “going” with others whether we wish to or not. Given this understanding, the phrase might be restated, “Don't pretend you are going it alone” because you are not alone, whether you like it or not. Part of the problem of this phrase is that it holds irrespective of the value of project at hand. It is such thinking that is at the precise core of recruitment into organized crime activities. Petty thieves are recruited into much larger and more sinister operations to reap the economies of scale to be gained by “not going it alone.”

1 Kings 3:9-11
So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people
and to distinguish between right and wrong.
For who is able to govern this great people of yours?
The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this.
So God said to him, Since you have asked for this
and not for long life or wealth for yourself,
nor have asked for the death of your enemies
but for discernment in administering justice,

In this text, where King Solomon is speaking with God, the not going it alone refers explicitly to God's help. There is a story I love about a man shipwrecked on a deserted island praying to God for help. When a couple arrives in a sailboat and offer to take him to safety, he replies that he is trusting in God to save him. When a naval ship comes by and calls him to board, he gives the same answer. Finally, when a helicopter hovers over him and calls by loudspeaker, he once again refuses saying he has prayed and God will save him. The man dies from starvation and exposure. In the afterlife, he complains to God and God replies, “I tried to rescue you three times, and each time you refused my help.”

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Comment by Keith Saylor on 4th mo. 4, 2017 at 6:23pm
There was another guy on the island that was immanently inspired in the Name itself to build a boat and freely sailed away ... only to return and tell the other guy, still on the island: "I am the way. Call upon that which I am that is in you. Speak the Name and own who I am and who you are and together we will know inspiring immanence. And the man who would stay on the island and waiting for God to save him did speak the immanent Name and said unto the other "I am the way brother and I am that which you are and I am that I am" ... and God (immanent Presence) was upon them both and, in the Name itself in itself, they both sailed from the island together.
Comment by Howard Brod on 4th mo. 4, 2017 at 7:41pm

Your revised ending of the story Keith, is so clearly the story and mission of Jesus.  If humankind were but not afraid to believe his words and experience that reality with him.

I was sitting in worship at my meeting the other week and was given this message: "What you truly want in your heart, that is what you shall be."  And I pondered, what fear is stopping so many of us from truly wanting the essence that was so manifested in Jesus of Nazareth, as well as others who have offered us the way of the Living Light.

Comment by Glenn Morison on 4th mo. 4, 2017 at 8:08pm

Thanks so much for adding to my start!


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