What do fleas, Lord of the Rings and Gideon have to do with real life?
In life, marriage and business we need to carefully choose the people who will be with us on our journey. Many will be with us for a short time, a season; a few will stick it out for the long-haul. I am by no means advocating that we disdain hanging with anyone.
We have limited time, and most of us have purposes, passions and pursuits we'd like to be about. There will be way too people who will only take from us, while others will build us up and help lift us to new heights. You want people with you who are bringing something positive to the relationship, something beneficial to the struggle. Life is not just about getting stuff from other people. We should each make it an effort to give at least as well as we get. This is not to be accomplished in a competitive spirit. Think about it for a minute. Do you like being second chair all the time? Probably not. We can’t honestly expect our friends and teammates to continually be the booster and never the victor.
We all want to have a great time in life, but when things get hard we want someone standing there in the trenches with us that we can depend on. We have needs that go well beyond lending us a few bucks. There are times in our lives when we need them to lend us an ear or a shoulder.
There are many people we may call acquaintance, but precious few who are friends. Be careful who you roll with. As my mother counseled me, “If you lay down with dogs, you’ll get up with fleas”…or something worse.
The Fellowship (LOTR) never lost site of the goal, even when they lost site of Frodo. They remained committed to the fellowship and the quest. This remained true when they were surrounded by thousands of comrades in arms; and it remained true when there were only 3 of them.
Gideon's started out with an army that was woefully out-manned and outnumbered. His army was then reduced to 1% of its original size. He was left with a tiny force that was focused, attentive and willing to be led.
As we strive for excellence and move toward mastery, as we try to become better human beings, we want to associate with people who have similar perspectives.