Updated: Aug 13, 2019
I have been thinking a lot about community lately. How much we need it. How much we long for it, even if we won’t admit it. How so many have no clue how to get it.
When you grow up in a small town like I did, there is a stronger since of community. At least that was so in the 1970’s. #smalltownlife Families knew each other and watched out for the kids while they were free to explore their small-town world. I know people whose neighbors were even allowed to spank them! Permission had to be given first, of course, or mama bears get very protective - GRRH!
All I can say about that time in a small town was that I felt a part of something bigger #bigger, and there was a feeling of security, but also freedom #freedom. I have this sense that for many of us in the USA, this mark of community is nowhere in sight.
We know some of the barriers – technology separates us. The current MO sounds like this: the bigger, the more a technology can do, the better. Yet, how much of your phone’s capacity do you really use every day? We spend hours with our heads bent over a screen or staring at a panel and miss all else around us and do not even fully use what is available. And when the tech breaks down…chaos can reign!
Bigger places & institutions also separate us. Large places and businesses have great advantages for options and opportunities. However, vast sizes reduce people to numbers, create long lines waiting, and more chance of miscommunication, exclusion, and isolation. Ever felt alone in a crowd?
Our busy-ness separates us by not allowing time for the unexpected, for helping neighbors in need, for simply being and enjoying what is around us. Do you ever get home at the end of day and still feel as if you did not accomplish what is most important?
Distance separates us. Few of us live next door to those most important to us. In our home, we are at least an hour from family & best friends, and so many of our loved ones are scattered to other states. Do you ever wish you could ask Scottie to energize you across four states?
I spent last weekend in community with more than 30 sisters in faith. We had no clocks, no phones, no distractions. The weekend was designed to help each of us to set aside all the things that separate us not only from ourselves but also from others. The goal was to truly listen to what our God was saying, to understand and support one another, and to gain a better appreciation of what community can accomplish and our places in that community.
The retreat was a reminder to me that I cannot take my life for granted, and that to grow or achieve, I cannot do it alone. I need a band of brothers and sisters within the bigger world to fully live.
See, we were made for community, in the image of a Creator who is community in His very essence with the Son and the Holy Spirit. #inhisimage When we forgo gathering and living life with others, we forgo our very nature. We are forfeiting one of the best gifts our Creator ever gave us.
Do you have a community on which you can count when things get hard? Are you part of a tribe of people who have your back? Can you truly say that you feel full in your life?
We need community. Without it, life is small and can be bleak. Without it, you can never accomplish much and if you do, you will find yourself alone with your money and things. Without community, it is very difficult for you to understand just how much you are worth and that your Creator made you to have value and purpose. #togetherisbetter
If you really want to step into more for your life – step into a circle of friends and learn to love, deal with conflict and become a more of whom you were meant to be.