In our church small group, we generally start by selecting a chapter of the scripture to read. After 15 minutes or so, whoever is the leader for that evening (we rotate between 4 people) leads off the discussion to get people’s perspective on the scripture.
Last Sunday, however, the leader unfortunately forgot that he/she was leading that group. As a result, we spent 35 minutes reading the scripture until the leader was reminded to start discussion. The passage was only about a page long, so you can imagine what it was like to spend 35 minutes reading it.*
The funny thing was, no one was willing to admit that they had extracted all the meaning that they cared to from the passage. We all kept diligently pretending to study the Word, unwilling to admit that any of us was less holy than the others.
I think that a lot of life is like that-we try really hard to make sure our lives appear to others to be relatively under control. I’m still surprised when people occasionally let slip to me their problems-that they’re lonely, struggling with a relationship, etc.-because it happens so rarely. But we all have some version of those problems; we just don’t want to admit it. It’s a massive prisoner’s dilemma.
*Maybe some people have that type of focus, but I do not.