I am ze Prince
At these historic castle ruins in Heidelberg, Germany, our tour guide told us the story of a Prince. The Prince ate with his people in the regular dining area every day until one day he realized, “I am ze Prince, and ze people stink. This is impossible.” He relocated his meals to a high tower where he ate alone. It is possibly the tower depicted in this picture, but it's equally possible that it is not. They all look the same to me.
This makes me think of exclusion. Sometimes we exclude others. We exclude them because they are different from us. We exclude individual people, or whole people groups. But then there are times where, out of pride or self-interest, we exclude ourselves.
The quality of the Prince's life was probably not improved when he stopped interacting with his people. Sure, maybe it was nice that he did not have to smell them, but you often can't know someone without getting a little dirty, and relationship is almost always worth the price. I doubt that the Prince was able to be a better leader when he stopped spending time with his people. I'm sure the people did not feel more happy and willing to serve a Prince who refused to spend time in their presence.
It makes me think about who I have intentionally or unintentionally excluded myself from. Some people are challenging. Christians far too often use the excuse that they are trying to maintain their own purity and not be lead into temptation, when really they exclude themselves from certain people because they don't want to get a little dirty.