My neighbor got his pickup stuck in a snow bank late at night and down the grade a few winters ago. He flagged down the first 4-wheel drive that came along. However, ice so glazed the road that even the 4x4 couldn’t budge him. So, he hiked over to my place, beat on the door, and asked if I could “double him out.” Which I did.
In the Old West, to “double out” a wagon stuck in mud meant to hitch two complete teams together. A narrow wheeled, heavy wagon caused quite a bit of friction when sunk down past the hubs in thick adobe soil. That’s one of the many reasons only a fool would try to cross the prairie by himself...too many rivers to ford, deserts to span, mountains to climb, canyons to pass and unexpected dangers to face.
Some foolish souls try to go it alone in the spiritual journey too. As long as their trail’s level, or downhill, or on firmly packed ground, they can survive. But when hit with trials, testings, traumas and tribulations, they get bogged down. “If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up” (Ecclesiastes 4:12).
Who are the solid friends and approachable neighbors you can call on anytime and count on them to come double you out? And who are the ones that know you well enough that they can depend on you?