Community - Discipleship 177
Community is one of my favorite subjects to write about, talk about and experience. I am fascinated by the human desire to connect and belong to something. The interrelated connections we create and define ourselves by are woven together in a wonderfully complex tapestry. Here are three things I'm learning more about regarding community.
1. Community is created. Community cannot be found, it has to be created. We invest the majority of our time trying to develop connections with people...we are often looking for that significant spark in order to validate our desire. The truth is that every connection we have with another being is a product of creation, not merely the dumb luck of having stumbled upon its' existence. Our desire for connection is a part of our default programming as humans. We, like our Creator, are hard-wired to connect relationally with the rest of humanity. People spend the majority of their lives in pursuit of the impossible task of finding a connection instead of learning how to create a connection. If we are hard-wired to connection, we are also hard-wired to create. Connection, and the end result of community, begins with the willingness to create.
2. Community requires discipline. Community isn't easy. It takes a great deal of commitment, consistency and discipline to stay connected. It is true that we possess the default need to be connected, but we also possess the default habit of resisting connection. The wise person is aware of this emerging dichotomy and is able to navigate the intricacy of this evolving dance. If you look at the example of Jesus, even He needed to discipline Himself to get up early in the morning in order to connect with His heavenly Father. If our Creator demonstrates the discipline required to pursue community, why would we believe that community would come easy to us as His creation?
3. Community is not static. Community is always evolving in some way. It's either growing or decaying. The challenge is knowing when you are in a season of growth, or when you are experiencing a season of decay and responding to the challenges or needs in each of these scenarios. Don't expect things to "stay the same" cause they won't. Embrace the pulsation of community and recognize that there are different seasons to be experienced in the pursuit of community.
There is so much more that can be said about community. Would you agree or disagree with these three facets of community? How do they inspire you to pursue an interconnectedness with others?