We are designed for community.
I recently committed to a new gym. If anyone were to look at my gym history and record of attendance at establishments where sweat is expected, it would be determined that this was a very poor financial decision. I’m not a fan of working out.
But one day, I went out on the lake with my family and I couldn’t get back up on the boat. My arms were not strong enough to pull myself out of the water without assistance. I only managed to get back in by (very ungracefully) climbing on top of the motor and then into the back of the boat. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that relying on the motor to act as a ladder is a bad idea.
So, with new motivation, I accepted a friend’s invitation to step into a 14 day trial at her gym.
*Insert official statement that I am not getting paid to advertise anything. Hang in there guys, I have a point.*
Did I mention that I hate the gym? I mostly hate it because I’m not good at it. I also don’t know very much. All those machines look intimidating and I’m sure to hurt myself if I attempt to use any sort of weights. My first day was ROUGH.
Ya’ll, I moved my body in ways that it had never been moved before. I groaned every time I sat down, stood up, walked… my legs hurt so bad!
So why in the world did I sign up for a membership?!?
Because it felt different this time, at this gym. I wasn’t left on my own to figure out a machine. I was in a class and I was taught the movements before attempting them. When I did something wrong, the instructor corrected me. It felt safer to try things out because I had someone to guide me.
But, most importantly, I had people I knew cheering me on. It was easy to join this gym because no matter what time slot I attended, I seemed to know at least 1 person. These ladies either pushed me to do impossible things through their own example, or related to my need to drop the weight that round.
I wasn’t alone anymore. I had a community of people around me striving after the same goal to be strong and healthy.
Here is where I get to the actual point. Life is like that. We can’t do this alone. We aren’t meant to do this alone. We need people to cheer us on and encourage us through the hard things. It’s a relief to have someone else relate to what we are going through. It is a breath of fresh air when a friend takes the opportunity to celebrate with you.
We are designed for community because when we work together, not alone or against one another, we are stronger.
At church, one of my favorite things to do is to help someone else find their community. I love, love, LOVE witnessing the transformation that takes place when a person gets plugged in and finds their home.
I think, deep down, most of us are aware of our need for other people. But it can be scary sometimes. We’ve been hurt by people before. We don’t know how to find the kind of friendship we long for. We tried that once, and were left feeling disappointed. What if we put ourselves out there and history repeats itself?
I can’t alleviate that fear. People are human. Right next to that need for community is a need for a Savior. And that, is where we need to begin.
Have you been hesitant to dive into that community? Small group? Serving? Getting to know that person outside of a Sunday morning? Go first. Realize that all those people have the same needs as you, and simply see if you are able to be a piece of the community they just might be longing for. Not a good fit? Try again. And again. Along the way you will discover that the best part of community is getting to bring life to someone else.
I would fail at going to the gym if there was no one to push me and root for me. My gym community is going to help me become stronger physically. There is another kind of community that pushes us and grows us emotionally and spiritually. Don’t give up fighting to find that and to be that for someone else. Let’s do this together.