Yesterday was the first time we went to church since February. In the midst of a pandemic, we hadn’t felt comfortable in such a large setting with others, however, understanding that this is our new normal and that the right measures were in place, we felt okay taking the risk. It was so refreshing.
Going to church is part of our identity. It is the place where others that want to live like us come together to continue growing. It is also where we’ve made most of our friends and where we met. This is testament that after God, the most key part of a church is the community. Take some time to think about it. Any organization where the members stick together is one with power. The Christian community has a lot of strength in individuals, but a lot more strength in a communal set up.
I truly understood that yesterday. When COVID numbers started going up, the services were moved to only online. Then they moved to in person with limited seats, and just recently opened all their available seats, following CDC guidelines to reduce risk of spread. We watched every week and even met with our small group of friends but something was missing. Not meeting in a larger setting and experiencing the service first hand left us lacking.
Singing together and learning about others’ experiences brought us all closer and me closer to my goal of growing in God. These last few months have been way easier for us than for many others who have been sick, lost their loved ones, and/or lost their jobs. Yet they still haven’t been not hard. Our coping mechanisms have lost their lack luster and we don’t always have the energy to dig deeper. However, in the midst of a group of people that want the same thing that we want, we felt strengthened and encouraged. We felt that we could do more, keep going, and extend a hand to others. Because that is precisely where the power of many is. Yes, together they can move forward, but they can only do that when in agreeance and recognition of the reality. There are moments when I don’t have it in me to keep going, but you will pick up my slack and help me along the path, and vice versa. Only like this can we do something together.
Believing that we are an island and that the only source of our strength is our own motives, is one of the biggest lies we repeatedly believe. “You should be able to save money if you really want to buy that car.” “You should be able to shed a few pounds if you really want to wear that dress.” “You should be able to get that promotion if you are diligent.” Yet are we not taking into consideration that our surroundings are not fully dependable on us. Even if you grew all your food, you depend on the weather to be kind to you.
We are also not faultless. There will be moments when I will go down the wrong path or act in an unloving manner towards those around me. People who I trust can be instruments to bring me back to where I need to be, to help me recognize my errors, or comprehend how my actions are affecting others. They will also be a support during the process of fighting my weaknesses or bad habits.
This begs the question: who do you surround yourself with? These people can help you be your best, keep you at a mediocre level, or drag you down to your lowest. Maybe 2020 has kept you away from some or all of the people that fall into those categories. Reach out to those who help you believe in your better self, and ask to chat or for help. They can help you recharge and remind you what it is you are fighting for.