Community is doing life together.
Have you ever made a budget? I remember the first time I made one. I felt so empowered, like I was finally in control of my money. I analyzed my monthly income and the bills I had to pay, made decisions about what was important to me (Don’t know what’s important to you? Check your bank statement.), and made sure my expenses were less than my income so I could save some money. With my amazing spreadsheet in hand, I set out on a path of “controlled spending” with the promise of riches seemingly right within my grasp. Fast forward to the end of the month. After a look at my bank statement, it appeared I must have lost my budget around Day 3. I was nowhere close to the numbers I had promised to stick to, and felt like a failure. What was I missing? I was missing intentionality.
Being intentional means acting in a way that is directed or aimed toward your goal. It means acting in a willful, purposeful, deliberate way. And, it means acting in a particular way consistently. This is where most plans begin falling apart. Making my budget was an intentional action, but when it came time to act on it, my intentionality was not sustained. But why not? I knew that following a budget would result in financial security and build my bank account. Why was that so hard? Well, as it turns out, being intentional is not easy, especially if what you are doing is uncomfortable. It’s easy to make the plan, but challenging to carry it out. Reaching the goal requires daily intentional action.
Life in community is the same way. It’s easy to recognize the rewards of a life lived in a community that cares for each other, but finding your way into this kind of life can seem much harder, especially if you are the one that needs to start community. But in reality, it’s not the actual steps that are hard, but taking them. Building community is as simple as lending a hand, inviting someone to lunch, or throwing a party for your neighborhood. And the rewards are priceless. So go out and take a step, any step. And then take another one. You’ll be surprised at how fast you find yourself in the middle of an awesome community.