“It’s hard to find community,” they say. I sit across from them at Starbucks or at my dining table and listen to them share about the difficulty of finding people they connect to, people with whom they can build a solid friendship and grow together in faith. “They” have been college students, single young adults, and married couples. “They” have been both laypeople and staff members, newcomers and long-standing members of the church.
I’ve wondered why this is the case for so many of us, why it’s so hard to find the community we all long for, and over time, I noticed several patterns in our expectations of church and in our relationship with her.
It’s been ten months since we moved from Las Vegas, but it still feels like we’re in transition. I’m over at The Mudroom today talking about being in the middle of the wilderness:
“We’re in our mid-thirties with two kids. We’re living with parents while others our age are buying homes and storing away for retirement 30 years down the road or less. We left a home, mild traffic (this is something when Southern California traffic can be hell on earth), and good insurance. We moved back home with the excitement of God doing new things in our lives and a willingness to follow Him wherever He leads us. But the novelty of change soon became dull, and we entered into the long in-between.”
The days leading up to and after Thanksgiving I was bombarded with ad after ad for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. They were shouting at me, enticing me, telling me “good news” in the midst of hard times. Free shipping! Buy One Get One! Lowest prices of the year! Such sweet words to my frugal soul. They understood the game of shopping for me- getting the most bang for my buck. Funds had never been overly abundant in my life so deals had always been something to relish and boast of.
But with the many goodbyes and transitions we’ve gone through this year, with the heartache around the world and with the current of fear and grief running through our nation, I’ve lost taste for it. Possessions seem like sand slipping through our fingers in light of it all. Little of what we own will last in value or entertainment or even in sentimentality when life requires us to downsize and move or forces us from our normal lives into the unknown…