I overheard a conversation on the radio that got me thinking. Have you ever been in a place that you just don’t feel at home or welcome? Or maybe you feel welcome, but not really a part of it? This can be anything like a party, networking event, new class, church, etc but this post is going to be geared toward church.
Not to sound harsh but, did you ever take a moment to think that the problem is not unfriendly/inhospitable people, but possibly you? I think there are too many people that are so concerned about what something/somewhere can be for them, that they don’t stop to consider what they themselves can offer. What I mean is, take friendship for example. If you want to have friends, you have to be a friend. You can’t just take & take & take and truly receive the value of what you have. I think of this like your relationship with the church. You can go & receive the teachings, feel goosebumps from the singing week after week but if that is all you are doing, then you’re a bench warmer. And you are missing out!!!
I spent several months at my church just coming to church, dreaming of getting involved but never signing up or committing to anything. My husband was deployed and I was lonely. Poor ole pitiful me. In the great words of Eeyore, “Oh Bother” 😦 Then a lightbulb went off & I realized I needed to take action. I can’t show up each Sunday, sit in my little corner, shake the same hands of people I can’t remember the names of, never speak more than a “good morning” or a “welcome” and expect to feel like I belonged or was a part of something when I wasn’t really making any efforts myself (ouch!) 🙂
So, I decided to stop wallowing in my lonely heart & to reach out. I volunteered for a local work opportunity where we went into the community & did practical work to bless local businesses, I signed up & joined some small groups, signed up for the choir – really I just prayed & whatever I felt led to I dove in. Praise God, I dove in!! 🙂 I have made some *wonderful* friendships and met some of the most amazing people I know and have been inspired in ways I never would have as a bench warmer. Thank you Jesus I realized the problem was me! 🙂
So, if you are going to a church (or any social gathering) and feel like you are a sore thumb or not belonging – make the first move! Get to know people, show love & joy to them, get involved. You are a beautiful creation in the eyes of your Creator with amazing talents & abilities & perhaps He is waiting for you to grab hold of that & jump. Don’t be afraid to put down your roots. You are where you are for a reason – make it count!
The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step – Lao-tzu
Love in Christ, Amy