My first attempt at writing to an audience took place when I was thirty-something.
Back in those days I was extremely active in a singles ski club. Woodstock Ski Club had around 150 members with a fairly even distribution of men and women. The club published a monthly newsletter and I contributed a regular column called Tex’s Tips on T ‘n T, which was especially popular with the ladies in the club. On ski trips and at club meetings everyone called me Tex and I dressed accordingly, often wearing a cowboy hat while skiing.
Let me explain the T ‘n T acronym. It’s short for Togetherness and Tranquility, and my column was a fairly feeble attempt to answer selected questions from anonymous ski club members to their most personal circumstances dealing with relationships. I was known as the “Dear Abby” of the ski slopes for our eclectic group.
What I find intriguing when I look back at those days is how those creative juices first flowed even though the newsletter was only published monthly. This took place a few years after completing my Master of Arts degree from a local liberal arts school, and it was my first nonbusiness attempt to hone my newly learned writing skills.
Those monthly contributions were submitted in draft form to our newsletter editor and were archaically produced on an electric typewriter. Our written communication has certainly come a long way. These days I produce weekly essays in less than half the time with more than twice the word count. Those early writings were meaningful.
Now let’s address this togetherness and tranquility topic in life. As an athlete, I quickly learned the importance of working together for the greater good of the whole. Teamwork requires personal sacrifices.
In business, the person who demands to be recognized for his or her accomplishments is not a team player, and their organization will certainly suffer and not meet its true potential. And in marriage, if one partner always feels the need to be totally in control, the marriage will suffer as well.
Let me share some words of wisdom found in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work. If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.”
Ecclesiastes 4:12b (“A cord of three strands is not easily broken.”) is one of my life verses. To me, the three strands represent husband, wife and the Holy Spirit.
He’s the One Who strengthens our relationship and makes it beautiful in all the circumstances we must face in life. The Holy Spirit is the glue in the covenant marriage relationship. He alone brings about the tranquility we all seek.
The Christian church can be a good example of working together. In Romans 12:3-5, Paul reminds us, “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, … For just as each of us has one body and many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”
If we’d only heed Paul’s good counsel we’d be able to accomplish so much more corporately for our Lord!
Togetherness is not natural. It’s much easier to work alone, but I’ve found we can accomplish so much more through working together. It certainly helps to know you’re on the winning team. Togetherness and tranquility in life comes about once we admit we need His help in working with others in love to reach a common goal.
Please consider calling upon our Lord to assist you in all you do. He wants to be an integral part of every team effort. His supernatural guidance can bring victory in a way that you’ve never experienced before.
You can have the joy. Let Him have the glory!
Passages to Ponder
— Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent in Santa Barbara. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. As a longtime member of CBMC of Santa Barbara (Christian Business Men’s Connection), he started writing Fourth Quarter Strategies columns in 2014, and he now reaches an international audience through the CBMC International devotional Monday Manna. He can be contacted at [email protected] for more information. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.