*Singing* “Sometimes you wanna go, where everybody knows your naaaame. And they're always glad you caaame. You wanna be where you can see, our troubles are all the same. You wanna be where everybody knows your name”
Oh, singing the theme song to Cheers today is so befitting, I’ll tell you why =)
I stopped into my favorite neighborhood Starbucks early this morning and spent the day with them. (So much work to do) It's been a while since I've been here and so I was greeted with the question, “Where you been?” by several different baristas.
They checked in with me, they knew my usual, and they showed they cared even if they really didn't. Lol.
When I ordered something different than my norm they looked at me crazy and said, “What's wrong with you, what are you going thru, this ain't normal for you."
This is after a good six months of NOT coming to this particular location. No other Starbucks has taken the time to get to know me like this one. No matter how many times I've frequented.
Here's the point...True community, it always brings you back!
We are all looking for people to relate with, to trust, to share with even if we are consciously attempting to
thwart those things in our lives. Community goes beyond the people that live next to us or sit next to us in church. But this deeper sense of care and concern where over time we come to know each other, have a heart to hear about what the other is dealing with, encourage one another, celebrate with them, enjoy them when they are present, and truly miss them when they are gone!
This sense of community although desired has been lost. While social media keeps us connected at the fingertips, it has disconnected us from our heart’s desire to truly connect in an authentic manner in many cases. While seeing people daily at work or weekly at church and various activities keeps us connected by knowing each other by name and even by talent, our fears and mistrusts of people and times past keep us from truly connecting in authentic ways.
The sense of community at my favorite neighborhood Starbucks keeps me coming back to spend the money I don't have lol. Not only do they make my orders the best but they care, and because I sense that I don't mind coming when I'm at my best or my worst (rollin out the bed in the 4am hour looking like it’s 4am lol). I don't mind coming even when it's inconvenient. And I don't mind reciprocating the love. In fact, I don't have to try; it just flows out!
I pray that this week we think about the sense of community in our homes, schools, workplaces, and churches.
Do you experience this sense of community? Do you reciprocate the love shown? Are you willing to trust and allow for safe, caring relationships to form? Do you even want this sense of community? Why or why not?
What are you doing to help form this deeper sense of interacting wherever you go? Because simply complaining that it doesn't exist helps no one. How can you commit to having a deeper sense of community in the places you frequent?
The reality is, we need each other. We need like-minded people to keep us strengthened in the rough times and to rejoice with us in the good. We were created for relationship with the Father and the rest of His creation.
I may not like to be around people all the time, but I appreciate the investments that people make in my life. I cannot grow in Christ without community. And you can't either! We definitely need each other!
Challenge: Take a step out this week and ask God how you can cultivate this authentic connection with Him, in your homes, and in the world around you!
“Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!”
Romans 12:15-16 NLT
“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”
Hebrews 10:24-25 NLT
Melanie N. Lee/New Standard © 2016 All Rights Reserved
Melanie N. Lee
I just REALLY love Jesus!!!
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