Halt and Catch Fire, Together

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Having survived the perils of the WordPress conference, mentioned yesterday, I am prepared to report back on my accomplishments. Since those accomplishments proved so minimal, I’d instead like to report on an apparently unrelated matter, the now-completed AMC program Halt and Catch Fire.

The four seasons of Halt and Catch Fire followed a small group of computer innovators as they explored pretty much every aspect of the PC explosion of the 1980s. In watching these people struggle through their efforts, I’m reminded of not just what I’ve heard at the WordPress camp but also Solomon’s continued comments on working together:

Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts. For if either falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up. Also, if two lie down together, they can keep warm; but how can one person alone keep warm? And if someone overpowers one person, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

The Cardiff Giant

In that first season of the TV show, we have four main characters working together to create a terrific IBM clone computer. (If you’re younger than 40, you might need to be told that an IBM clone is one that runs PC programs without the limitations and cost of the IBM machines.) Those four are as follow:

  • Gordon is the primary hardware engineer. Without him, the Giant would have never been developed, but he completely lacked drive until he met
  • Joe, who knows virtually nothing about tech but who has a vision. Joe gets Gordon moving and continues, through methods fair and foul, advancing the project, but Joe cannot provide software without
  • Cameron, a college-dropout coding savant, who not only programs the BIOS for the Giant but develops an amazing and ahead-of-its-time operating system. Cameron is talented but she lacks the discipline of
  • Donna, Gordon’s wife, whose abilities in data recovery and hardware intricacies save the day on more than one occasion.

Take away any of these four and the Cardiff Giant computer never comes to market. Combined, they become a cord of four strands.

Similarly, as I sit here in the WordPress conference hearing people talk about dozens of tools and hardware matters that no single person could completely comprehend, I’m reminded of the essentially collaborative nature of most work.

Getting in Tune

As dismal as much of Ecclesiastes winds up being, we can definitely take heart from what it says here about working with others. The Christian life is never intended to be a solo endeavor. If we were supposed to be soloists, then we wouldn’t have so much attention paid to the interactions within the church. If we were supposed to do our thing by ourselves, then why, in John 13:34-35, would Jesus take the trouble to tell us to “love one another” as a special new command?

Our call today should be to reach out to create and improve the relationships that we have so that we can love each other more richly and be the church that Christ intended.

So who will you connect with today?