Two are Better!


This photo delights me…and brings to mind a dear friend! From a Boeing postcard, the woman on the left seems to be “hand-propping” the vintage 1925 “Model 40” – while her friend reaches out to stabilize, and help ground her.

Every good and perfect gift is from above.

Indeed, I know this particular friendship is truly a gift, given from our Father in Heaven, in His infinite knowledge and perfect timing… The bonus:  she is simply a joy to be around!

In reality, two people – whether husband/wife, coworkers, brother/sister, best friends…together – are better than one! Expressed mathematically,  one plus one is greater than two (1 + 1 > 2). This parallels the principle of Crew Resource Management (CRM) in aviation which advocates teamwork; in particular, it is the individual crew members functioning as one. Working together, performing in concert – ensuring flight safety and operational efficiency while, at the same time, vigilant to potential threats and errors. Finally, with teammates – the journey (or the work) is more fun and interesting!

Two are better than one,
Because they have a good reward for their labor.
For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
For he has no one to help him up

Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm;
But how can one be warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.
And a threefold cord is not quickly broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)

Recently, I was getting “checked-out” to fly a Piper J-3 Cub – a vintage, pre-war (1939) aircraft with no electrical system (therefore, no engine starter). The process of starting the engine required careful coordination between me and my instructor. Communication was essential, with one person at the controls in the cockpit; the other, in the line of fire – to turn the propeller “by hand.” (No affiliation to photo below)


My instructor wanted to make sure our phraseology, commands and actions were mutually understood and unmistakable:  he would be holding the brakes ensuring no forward movement, verifying the mag switch remained off and the throttle at idle. Meanwhile, I stood in front and grasped the propeller – that shortly  would be rotating nearly 1000 RPM!

Often in life, we can not avoid such precarious positions, therefore it is vital to have a trusted member on your crew – someone who has your safety and our best interests at heart. The term synergy captures this concept:  the interaction of elements that when combined produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual elements, contributions, etc.

Horses are often used to illustrate the benefits of synergy. I’ve read that a team of two horses can together pull over twice the weight of one, alone. Similarly, most twin-engine, light aircraft can easily maintain a climb with both engines operating at maximum power. However, for some the loss of one of the engines reduces climb performance – not by 50 percent, as you might expect – but rather, by 80-90 percent! This is because the weight and drag of the dead/failed engine adds significantly to the total thrust required from the remaining engine.

Operating with such a small performance margin, if the pilot does not promptly respond with the proper procedures, a loss of control will result. This demonstrates, in challenging situations – such as a heavy weight climb, on a hot day – indeed, two (engines) are better than one!

Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.  Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:1-2)

For much of my life I didn’t understand the truth written in Galatians Chapter 6 – that we must have someone to help bear our burdens – lest we be crushed by their weight. My friend Carol has been such a bearer for me…encouraging, mentoring, together studying God’s word, steadfast in accountability, setting an example, being able to laugh and to cry together…someone through whom God, Himself, ministered to me. From Hebrews 3: 13:  but exhort one another daily, while it is called“Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

Sometimes, in life, we just need help getting our engine started – and then have someone to join us as we take flight. Fasten your seat belts…and enjoy your journey!

For Carol:  I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now,  being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ…

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.