Today I am feeling especially warm... admittedly partially due to the warm wool sweater I am wearing... but more-so because I am really thinking about the blessing of being involved in Community (not the sit-com, either).
There is a longing in my heart for it. First and foremost, communion with God is what my soul hungers and thirsts for. This I know in my very core. This I still neglect far too often.
Today, though, I am talking about the horizontal kind... from person to person. Oh how we want it. To be connected. To be united. To belong. Really, to have family beyond the biological. It doesn't just happen, though.
This morning I was thinking about how we find ourselves in that place of community and how there is an investment required. What a worthwhile investment, though. Last night after our “watch” at Gateway House of Prayer, I was sitting around with our team talking through the details of our music and prayer time. We discussed technical/sound things, the music, songs, etc. and also shared what we sensed overall as we prayed and worshiped. As we were talking we unanimously agreed how much we enjoy the opportunity we have to do this weekly as a consistent team. Now ... there are weeks that even though I know God is worthy and even though I enjoy the time spent with the team and LOVE singing ... some nights I miss having the evening at home, or maybe I get frustrated with certain aspects of the give and take of working with a team, etc etc etc. But the investment and time “sacrifice” is so worth it. I have seen the benefits of consistently coming together with one purpose... we are building community with each other as we invest our time and our hearts. We are also able to be more creative as we trust each other to corporately “go for it” in seeking Gods heart together.
This same sort of thing applies in all spheres of life... my job, my dancing buddies, church, family, school, neighborhood, etc.
Day one of spending time with someone; you rarely, if ever, feel that depth of relationship... it involves vulnerability, giving of self, giving of time, and more. If there is an expectation of feeling included, loved and valued and a part of something, the reality is I must give ... and maybe for a period of time before the pay off of belonging is felt. We also have to realize that along the way we will be bruised, we will say things that bruise others and we will need to be willing to forgive and accept forgiveness. Messy, lovely, exhausting, rewarding ... but to me, community is worth it.