Being back in Tulsa this last week has made me realize how much Oklahoma really has become our home. And not because we are so in love with the state, but because it is where our community lives.
We knew we had to come back to Tulsa for doctors visits, but we didn’t realize how much we needed to come back to Tulsa for family.
One of the hardest things about traveling fulltime for us is that it is just us. I know, it sounds great- spend all day and all night, day in and day out with your spouse and kids. But seriously, we spend all day and all night together, every day.
It can be great, but spending that much time with the people who know all of the right buttons to push can also make you go a little crazy!
Scott and I are both introverts by nature, so it can be really easy for us to live our lives like we are on a deserted island. And yet we have learned that being introverted doesn’t mean that we don’t need community around us. It doesn’t mean that we don’t need other people to speak truth into our lives, to show us God’s love, and to laugh with us!
Being immersed in community this last week has really been a breath of fresh air for us. And it has been such a great reminder of why we travel out of somewhere, not just travel aimlessly. It is why we still have a home church, even if we don’t know the next time we will be at service. It is why we spent four years laying down roots in Tulsa before traveling fulltime again.
We Aren’t Meant to Be an Island
I have been reading this book about the Amish lately and have been inspired by their sense of community. There are stories about how Amish kids don’t end up in the foster care system because someone in the church always steps up to take the child into their home. Elders of the church and in the community help younger couples struggling in their marriage or financially.
That sense of community is something that is so often missing today, even within the church. How often are we guilty of saying hi to someone in passing on Sunday morning and then not seeing them again until the following week? How many times have we been surprised by something that happens to a family in our own church because we really haven’t spent with them?
When the church first began, community was at the center of everything! People were kicked out of their families and lost their jobs because they had decided to follow Jesus. Members of the church in Acts shared everything and took care of each other because they were all they had!
And yet somehow as life went on, that important aspect of church life has been reduced to Sunday morning services and potlucks. Sharing an occasional meal is not the same thing as sharing your life!
God means for us to spend our lives here on this earth intimately a part of a community of believers. His desire is for us to be a part of the family of Christ, not just the Sunday morning gathering of Christ.
I would encourage you today to open yourself up to real, deep relationships with those around you. Choose to invest your time in those around you. Decide that you will be the real you, not the fake smile you. It might just be the breath of fresh air that you need, too!