Jan 15, 2008

The Pursuit of People

“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.” Hebrews 10:24-25

As some of you know because I saw you there, I have just returned from spending an invigorating week in Florida with other Young Life staff and their spouses from around the globe. Lou and I always look forward to these trips because it gives us time away from the stress at home, an opportunity to spend time together, and a day at DISNEY WORLD! This year we couldn’t wait to experience the little slice of iconic American culture that is the land of Mickey. I’m not ashamed to say that I love that place. Yes, even the It’s a Small World ride. Side note: did you know that they’ve placed new animatronic Jack Sparrows into the Pirates of the Caribbean ride? I missed a good portion of the detailed scenes around him because I was staring at him trying to figure out if it was an actor or a machine. We had to ride it twice to catch all the minutiae I missed the first time around. Anyway…

In the days leading up to our trip, I was so focused on going to Disney and busy speculating on what I would bring home for my son, that I forgot that my favorite part of our time there, really, is catching up with friends. We encountered old buddies that we hadn’t seen since the last get-together four years ago and spent time with pals who we just aren’t able to experience day-to-day life with anymore. It was a time of connection and encouragement. And it was rich. Life-giving.

On the last day of the conference, I became somber knowing that we would be returning to real life. Don’t get me wrong, I love our life, my ministry, and am honored to stay home to mother the greatest son in the world, but I realized that we would be entering back into a world where precious few friends surround us. I would miss the constant love and uplifting that we experienced in Orlando. Reflecting on the past 5 days saddened me but made me extremely grateful for this second family God has given us, no matter how far we are from one another.

Ladies, we need our friends. You may be surrounded with a large group of like-minded gal pals, or you may be like me, struggling to make new connections. Regardless, we need to be pursuing authentic friendships. The first night of the conference a friend and I stayed up until 1:30 talking about life, love and how God plays into it all. I didn’t realize how badly I needed that sort of connection until that moment. There is a reason we want friends surrounding us during important times in our lives like birthdays, weddings, and funerals. We were made for relationship. God gave us a longing for connection. Connection with Him and connection with those around us. In the gospel of Mark, God not only instructs us to love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength, but to love others as well. He says that these are the two greatest commandments (vs. 29-31). And they are both about relationship.

Are you pursuing people? Or are you like me, putting off relationships, falling for the world’s trappings of busyness and solitude? Girls, we need one another; it’s as simple as that. Let’s learn how to share our world with those around us and in so doing, find the support and encouragement that God longs for us to experience. In experiencing each other, we often experience God. Let’s not miss it!

Memory verse: Galatians 6:2 Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Father, thank you for the longing for people you’ve placed in our hearts. Help us to be intentional about forming and sustaining lasting, Christ-centered relationships. Knowing and investing in others allows us to experience you in a new and different way. Help us to open ourselves up to it. We love You. Amen.


mb cameron said...

Thank you for your words. Im going to have dinner with some new potential frineds tonight!!! love you

Anonymous said...

Misti you are amazing! I just wanted to let you know God is using you in ridiculous ways! so please keep doing what you're doing. im praying for you!

Candus said...

This is my favorite one thus far. Thanks! Love you, Candus