Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Unlikely Sources

I began reading Organic Community on Sunday. The subtitle is "creating a place where people naturally connect" - and I'm reading it in part because at Liberty, we have a great church that lacks that connection. Some are deeply connected to the church and to other members, but since the church has grown immensely in the last dozen years or so, the numbers of people who are deeply connected have not grown in the same way. But, particularly as I work with Young Families, I recognize the real and felt need for this.

Anyway, as I'm reading this book, which talks about creating and cultivating an environment where community naturally occurs - not where it's forced, I read this stellar quote which hit me between the eyes - in a very personal way:

"Patterns are integral to our lives. They protect us, help us organize what we do from day to day, and even entertain us. Most of the time, we don't even think about them. We simply absorb them." (Myers, 37)

They protect us...

I stopped reading at that point, underlined the paragraph, circled the word protect and wrote a list of my own personal "patterns" - with an eye to the reason behind them, the reason I probably hadn't thought about when I simply absorbed them into my life. I thought about how they might have served a felt purpose of protection, and how they actually might be serving a negative purpose in that. And then my mind continued - continued into thinking about what patterns are presently absent in my life, and about how creating them and implementing them might actually protect me from some of the pain and pitfalls I've experienced and others have experienced in ministry. I've spent the last day and a half wrestling with and writing down thoughts and plans in this vein. And I simply love how God can show up in places we never expected, and point out things we never thought to find along the way...

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