12 But how can I bear your problems and your burdens and your disputes all by myself? 13 Choose some wise, understanding and respected men from each of your tribes, and I will set them over you.” (Deuteronomy 1:12-13 NIV)
Moses is speaking here and recalling the history of Israel’s pilgrimage.
Moses seems to speak both of external problems but also interpersonal issues and struggles.
The Israelites choose whom shall judge them – not Moses. Moses appoints them but the people (or their leaders at least) choose them.
So much in our world glorifies the solitary hero – the one who stands alone when all others fail. It’s interesting that movies like American Sniper (which I haven’t seen in the interest of full disclosure) that are popular tend to be about individual heroes.
The truth is that most of us who strive alone fail miserably – the burden is too great as Moses says. The tasks and responsibilities of leadership, for that matter life, are more than a solitary person can manage. All of us need friends and supporters and even critics to do what we need to do. We need other people!
Some us – I – have a tendency to be solitary. We need to push ourselves back into the circle of supportive and assisting and encouraging people or we will die on our own. Jesus’ dying alone and abandoned is seen as a tragedy and a sorrow. Why would we think being the Lone Ranger would be any different for us?
Thank you, Lord, for the people around me. Thank you for the people who make the burden of life lighter, who ease the incredible weight of ministry, who share the load – my load. Remind me today how much I need others and how much they need me, too. In the name of the One who called 12 to follow and minister with him I pray, Jesus the Master. Amen.