I have said before that community is a funny, little thing. To be in meaningful relationships and feel accepted by people is something that every human hearts desires.
Relationships with other people can be tricky sometimes, even messy. And while I am so grateful for the beautiful communities in my own life, it certainly took work and I made mistakes along the way.
1. It's Easy
Intentional, close-knit commuting with other people does not just happen overnight. It can feel odd, awkward, or just plain off. That was my own experience when several years ago I joined a small group at church. I tried really hard to "make it fit." I really wanted to be that girl that found these life-changing, deep friendships in her small group at church. But can I tell you something?
It felt awkward for me. While we were all the same age, I wasn't in the same stage of life as the women who were married with little ones running around. I stuck with it for about a year and a half before realizing that it just wasn't a fit for me. And you know what? That's a-okay.
It was a time that showed me sometimes being in community with some people just isn't the right fit.
2. It's Optional
We are simply aren't meant to be alone. God made us to be in relationship with Him and each other. Look at Genesis: God creates Adam and almost immediately acknowledges his need for a mate, a companion. If you read onward in the Old Testament, you see this reflected in the way God calls His people a group, a specific community (the children of Israel). Moving onto to the New Testament, it is so clearly seen especially in Acts where we see the records of the early (and rapidly growing!) Christian community.
We are not meant or designed to be "lone rangers" in life. We all need each other!
3. It happens instantly or overnight
Closeness just doesn't form overnight. I mean realistically it just doesn't. Building community takes time and effort. Community requires us to step outside the you-bubble and into someone else's bubble. That can be physically, emotionally and spiritually inconvenient or frustrating, but really is the best thing for us.
Think about the blessing of particular communities in your own life today: church, friends, co-workers, small group, Bible study, book club, etc. Offer up a prayer of gratitude for them today!
What are particular communities that have greatly blessed your own life? What do you think is the most difficult thing about community?