Last year, I was so utterly removed from the New Year’s resolution schtick that seems to overtake folks at this time of year. I raised an anti-resolution flag as if to say: “I dare you to make me stick to doing ANYTHING” this year!
And so I didn’t. Stick to anything, that is.
That stance had its pluses and minuses. Perhaps more minuses, if I’m honest with myself, because I didn’t seem to be really attached to any particular goal or plan. I experienced isolation, some of it self-inflicted.
- Work was a voracious consumer of not just my time but my mental and emotional capital.
- I continued “shacking up” at the church I attend, holding off from becoming more than an attendee.
- I even lost my zeal for my cherished Caribbean Meetup group.
It was a bit nebulous, that 2012.
So imagine my surprise when, towards the end of 2012, I sensed God putting one word in particular in the recesses of my spirit. It continued to bubble up during Christmas and into the new year.
Now, for an introvert like me, the word “community” can conjure up images of awkward get-togethers marked by strained conversation and a burning desire to just. get. away. It’s not that I’m antisocial, but with age, I’m less zealous (and more cautious) about forging new relations. So, “community” may very well be a stretch for me, but a needed one.
I think this is God’s way of saying: “You need to step out of the shadows and do what I called you to do! No hiding behind work, or blogging, or (name your poison). Get out there and be among my people!”
But what will that look like, Lord?
I believe God will show me how to build those “community” bonds. I see community as various forms of family: “blood” family, “friend” family, “work” family, “church” family, “causes” family, “online” family.
So it’s a call to more intentional engagement on several levels.
As much as it builds community, blogging is a solitary practice. Intercession, too, can become individualized. It’s a whole ‘notha show to get up off of one’s duff and do something collectively.
I have no clear picture of how “community” is going to show up in my life in 2013, but I am very open to whatever the Holy Spirit brings to me. I pray for an obedient heart that won’t debate Him and hinder what He wants to do in and through me in 2013. I’m praying for discernment and wisdom each day. I’m reminded of the apostle James’s in-your-face call to action to the New Testament saints:
Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.
What’s your one word for 2013?