I was reminded of the concept of community during the Christmas season while watching one of our favorite holiday movies, Home Alone. It fits perfectly with the American spirit. A young child, Kevin McAllister, is mistakenly left at home when his parents and large family take off for a holiday trip to Paris (yes, the premise is a bit farfetched!). Through the movie, Kevin ends up having to defend his house single-handedly against a pair of burglarizing buffoons. What gets us going is that this underdog wins the battle alone!
Those of us in the Western world, especially we Americans, sure seem to love our independence. But as I’ve mentioned in other posts, our independent spirit does have costs. Studies show that the most deafening shout in our current culture is the cry of isolation and aloneness.
Recently, I had a conversation with a dad who had a huge crisis in his family. His teenage son was struggling with depression and drug use. The dad was losing hope and had no one close by that he could confide in. I find that many men and women have come to believe that aloneness is a normal experience, and they do not have a community of loving friends around them to support them on the journey.
We have bought, unfortunately, into the belief that we are meant to “pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps.” David Thoreau wrote, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.”
Aloneness will do that to a person. I am thankful to see that some of those in the millennial generation have begun to turn the tide and value community more fully.
Hebrews 10:24,25 says,
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (NIV)
We need people in our lives who encourage us not only spiritually, but in every area of life.
What are you doing to make sure that you have a “lifeline” into a community of friends with whom you can do life, walk through the joys and crises, and encourage one another in your walk with Jesus Christ?