Countdown: 2 Days

Posted on April 22, 2010

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The past two days have been memorable. Tuesday night I hung out with friends and went to my last Springwater Karaoke night– at least for the next six or so months. And I love that little dive-bar. The beer is cheap. $6.50 for a pitcher of good brew, and we aren’t talking the wimpy pitchers either. I had two.

It’s a beautiful thing to be a part of a community. I’ve always wished I could find a church with the same level of quality fellowship as I’ve found in my favorite little dive-bar. I’ve wished for it, but haven’t found it. Maybe I’ll have better luck in Portland.

And it’s made me think about the role that community plays in our lives, how the simple act of drinking coffee and talking at Starbucks with a friend can enrich our lives. It’s a beautiful thing.

Lately I’ve been writing a lot about dreams and what holds us back from those dreams, and I think I’ve realized that if you don’t have community and friendship your dreams can’t take root. If you are fortunate enough to find an authentic community it becomes that much easier to climb outside of the rut and to move forward.

I’ve got a friend, we’ll call him George, that works 60 hours a week for UPS. Not only does George work 60 hours a week, he only has acquaintances. No real friends. He spends his off time sleeping or watching movies from his vast dvd collection, and is, for all intents and purposes, a hermit. I asked George the other day if he had any dreams, and he looked at me with a blank stare and said “Like what?” It was as if he didn’t know what a dream or a goal or a vision for a better life actually was. He just existed, and was passed the point where it bothered him that his life only consisted of work, sleep, and old re-runs of Family Guy.

After talking to George I went out and met up with friends, and it was while I was sitting at Starbucks with three of them that I felt a deep pang of sadness for George. I think God created us to need each other. I think he created us so that we work best and live the best story when we have a solid community around us. Too often nowadays I meet people who live in a fantasy world, where the sum of their contact with other people is based online or at work. Opening ourselves to others is a necessary step in opening ourselves to life and to the risks life brings. The Bible says that the rain will fall on the just and the unjust. It’s through the life that we learn the most about ourselves, and it’s through others we are able to gauge who we really are.

Yesterday I hung out with friends again. I’m taking every chance I can to spend time with them before I leave. And there’s a comfort in that time. There is a comfort in knowing that I’m not alone and that God uses these people to teach me more about himself and myself.

So I’ll throw this question out into the void… Are you withdrawing or withdrawn from community, and if so are you withdrawn from your dreams because of that? Do you have people who will challenge you and hold you accountable, or is the sum of your experience happening on World of Warcraft, Facebook, or Xbox Live?

Either way I’m thankful for the community I have, the friends I’ve met and have yet to meet, and for the love and accountability they have provided.

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