Today was the second part in our series The lost art of community. For many people that I talk to about the topic of community, the number one thing I hear is, “I don’t have time for community.” And the way that many of us live our lives, that is true. Many of don’t have time for community.
I was struck as I was preparing for this message all of the things we are willing to put into place in our lives that keep us from community. Think about it, the last time you got together with friends, what did you say at the end of the evening? “We should do this more often.” But we don’t. We pack our lives with everything else, all the while knowing we are settling, but often not sure what else to do. Many of us sit in rush hour traffic looking at all the cars and think, “This is what the good life feels like.” We are working for the good life, but I don’t know if that is what it feels like.
All throughout the scriptures and different medical studies and research, they all say the same thing. We need, we have to have community in our lives if we are survive. Randy Frazee said, “Simply put, many of us have squeezed living out of life. We don’t have the time to soak in life and deep friendships. We’re always running around trying to get to the next event. This presents at least two major problems. First, our busy lifestyles stimulate a toxic disease called crowded loneliness. But there’s an even deeper problem. In our original design we were created with a connection requirement. If this requirement is not met, we will die.” Click here to read some thoughts I shared from last week on this topic.
Whenever the topics of schedules come up, people are often very quiet about them because we all know we are living out of balance lives. Often though, we will say things like, “I can’t change it.” Without even trying. Before we even begin the journey of discovering if there are ways to live a balanced life, we decide it is out of our reach. Something people do who are rich or retired. But not me. Again, we are selling ourselves short.
Throughout the scriptures God talks about balance, Sabbath, rest, relationships being intertwined and a necessary part of our lives. Throughout Jesus’ ministry, he would have huge crowds ranging in the thousands following him around and he would leave them to be alone or with his friends. It seems completely backwards. You would think that he would want to have more people around him, they all want him, why is he leaving them? Because for Jesus, the next big thing, the next big raise, promotion, growing his ministry bigger, were not the most important things to him. Yet, when we talk about being like Jesus, these are often the things we leave out. “That is what Jesus did and he was God, but I couldn’t do that” we say.
The scriptures say, that is wrong. That is how we are supposed to live. We are to have different priorities than the world we live in. But many of us do not.