As summer crashes into fall we continue to feel the heat as we’re trying to switch gears and move in new directions. I find myself knitting in shorts with the air conditioning still occasionally popping on. I am daydreaming of yarn and sweaters and pumpkins while simultaneously enjoying the beauty of these extra sun filled days. I’m stretched. There is tension in the air and I think tension is good. As people we are pulled daily and forced in to moments of decision just in being alive. Will I wear shorts or pants? Do my socks go with this outfit? Should I choose my needs over the others needs?
Ok that last one has real consequences. Sometimes those decisions can be as benign as what’s for dinner. When I pick lasagna over pizza when we had pizza yesterday I think we all win but what if it held more importance? What if my decisions could impact lives? What if they could impact a community?
Everyday we make decisions that do impact our communities. Where we shop, eat, worship, play and live all plays a roll in how we see and interact with this world. So often our routines become so habitual that we fail to meet new people. We fail to see where people in our community are at, what they are doing and who they actually are. When we become this habitual our ‘circles of hospitality’ otherwise know as the people we associate with become stagnant and closed. We don’t make room for new people. We leave out those we don’t know.
This habitual existence is comfortable. Having dinner with friends feels good. Knowing our grocery store clerk is pleasant. Being greeted by the owner at our favourite restaurant makes us feel valued. All of these things lead to comfort and comfort leads to stagnation and stagnation leads to….I don’t want to say death but lets just say not good things.
When a pond is stagnant it dies. When a life is stagnant it fails to have impact. As Christians we are called into a life of impact and a life of living boldly breaking free from our Circles of Hospitality. We are the branches and we are to grow into the communities in which we live offering truth, hope and encouragement to those we meet. It’s not an easy life but it’s an impactful one.
In the Christian life tension is present constantly. Decisions must be made and lives will be changed because of them. We are called to break free from a life that is comfortable and known to us and move into a world filled with unknowns and risks. There are no certainties when we follow Christ beyond his truth and his truth is not easy. His truth is hard. We are called to take up our cross. We are told to love the unloveable. We are forced to move beyond ourselves and walk into the world so that the world might know his light.
These things are not easy but they are worth it. It’s not always fun but it is fulfilling and more importantly impactful. Isn’t that the kind of life we should want to live?