Tonight, our small group gathered in one of our big open yards for a picnic and a kickball game. My boys look forward to this annual event and it never fails to entertain.
The more I think about the kinds of things I want to write — to share details of my life and to answer all your questions — I realize how I’m so much more comfortable sharing the “how” and the “why” of community living. When I get down to the “what” of it all — the basic cut-and-dried information, I start to feel stifled. Because that aspect of it — the number of meetings, the organizational structure, the nitty gritty of it all, it’s very important. But it’s not ultimately what this life is all about.
To me, it’s about the relationships. It’s about living and loving and being encouraged and built up and yes, stretched and challenged. It’s about a life that is more than just me and my wants and desires.
Tonight, we walked up the street to the picnic. Paul was meeting us there in his truck so I was towing Isabel in the wagon, loaded up with our food and blanket and her, that sweet little two-year-old trying to climb out. Henry was on his scooter, a few boys were on bikes. Moments before we were set to leave, Henry (accidentally) broke a window in the garage door. There was glass everywhere. We cleaned that up, which put us about ten minutes behind schedule. As we ambled up the street (a three-minute walk) I was feeling frustrated and spent. I really blew my cool with the window incident. Then I started to have some more negative feelings and by the time I got to the dinner I was in a “bad place.” I really wanted to go home. I was in no kind of social mood.
“How ironic,” I thought to myself most fouly, “that I’m trying to write about community living and here is a prime example of how it is way too difficult.”
But here’s what happened: instead of retreating home to stew and boil, there I was. Surrounded by other people. And little by little, after a few minutes standing there having to push through my emotions, I got over it. I got out of “myself” and within a few short moments I was able to just totally change the channel mentally.
So that’s the heart of this life for me — it’s being drawn closer to Jesus by being surrounded by people on fire for Him. When you’re immersed in that kind of river, you can’t help but get swept along.