My son, Kye, turned 4 in May. He has grown up so quickly. It has been absolutely insane to watch him develop into this little person with quirks and humor. Truly I cannot grasp how this all happens in just 4 years. He has now been attending his Pre-K school for one week and HE LOVES IT! I’ve never seen him so excited about anything. Seriously, the kid loves to go to school. He even knows what time he wakes up. Granted, he still doesn’t quite grasp the concept of time but he knows that he wakes up at 7am. Tonight he came downstairs and found me to say, “Dad, are you going to wake me up at 7 to go to school?” “Yes, Kye that’s right.” I replied. “Well… what about 6? Is that better?” “Sounds great buddy.”
With Kye now in school, my daily routine now has two things added – drop off at 8:15am and pick up at 2:30pm. I made the remark a few days ago to someone that I feel like an “official parent” now. For some reason, having a kid in a school, proper, is different then simply taking care of kids at the house.
Tonight, as I thought about Kye starting his second week of school, I find myself pondering this thought – it’s only when we actually mature with the people we surround ourselves with (i.e. our community) that we begin to do new things and we might even feel like we are different as well. I’ve always been a parent, but seeing my son mature caused me to mature. Our community can help us move closer to the person we need to be. This is one of many reasons why I think living in community is essential to our spiritual health.
If we only surround ourselves with the same 5 people for 10 years, you might not mature in your spiritual life as much as you could if you were stretched and challenged by a group of people who love you. Now, please don’t confuse attending church on a sunday as your “community”; that’s not community. Church is a celebration of the Divine with other people who want to celebrate under the same roof as you. Community is living life as an organic interwoven connected group of people.
So, do you just “go to church” or do you “live in community”?
This is something I want desperately here in Muskogee. We moved here in February and it’s so hard to get in with the pockets of people who already know each other. It has been a spiritual battle to find a community of people who want to, as cliche as it sounds, “Do life together”. There is something Divinely inspirational about being around other people. There’s no need to be entertained or have the time of your life, but rather the simple act of being present in each others lives is sacred.
Today, may you not simply go to church.
May your heart tug at you until you move.
May you begin to build a community of Love, Hope, Peace and Grace.
Don’t seek to be diverse. At the root of diversity is still division; we’re still separated. We should long for university. A day when there is no longer an “us and them”. That’s community.
Grace and Peace