Boring! Frustrating! Lame! These are the feelings that I was having as I was sitting at home on an evening alone reading through our HOA ordinance to make sure there wasn’t anything against having an organized gathering in our community park. Why I am doing this? Why does it have to be so difficult to just get together with people?
I have been struggling with this lately for more reasons that one but mostly because I am a people person. I love to meet up, chat, text, voxer, write letters, say hello to strangers. I am a people person. When I have to be alone and not have my necessary amount of “people time” I start to go stir crazy. It is a need in my life. I think the God created us to spend time together and be relational. He didn’t create us to sit in cars alone for hours on end in traffic or to come home and shut our garages before we get out of our cars. He didn’t create us to be afraid to speak to someone because we’re afraid we have nothing to offer and he certainly (in my mind) didn’t create us to be too busy for one another.
I want you to invite you to take a moment, sit with your eyes closed and picture your childhood. You can even try to picture memories of your parent’s stories and grandparents stories. Now open your eyes and just make a list of what is different now from what you were picturing in your mind. When I think of gatherings the first thing that comes to my mind is what I used to hear about my grandparent’s gatherings. My grandma used to show me their drawers full of cards because they needed enough for everyone. She had table clothes and dishes that were used for card night. They made cocktails and appetizers and all their friends gathered for an evening of cards and just being together. It wasn’t a big production. It was just plain old fun.
We as a whole don’t have that anymore. The days of simple get together’s at someone’s house seems to be a thing of the past. My husband was reading me an article that stated facts about how much fewer people get together now than they used to. I want to say that he read to me that it is 30% less. The reasons to me seem ludicrous. One of the reasons was cost; every one is competing to have the best gathering and so each one is expensive. Other people won’t have them at all for fear of embarrassment that their get together won’t be fancy or fun enough. Everything has become a competition and those that feel like they can’t compete, well they just don’t do it at all.
Friends, it should not be so difficult to live in a society where relationships matter more than the entertainment. We shouldn’t have to jump through hoops or read through masses of paper to make sure that it’s ok to get together as a group of families, friends or communities. We shouldn’t have to wonder if we will be entertaining enough or if we have the right foods for everyone. It really should be as simple as, “Hey come over for dinner tonight we will host”. No questions asked and no cares as to what to serve or how to decorate. Just be together. And for goodness sakes, if you are the one invited don’t be too prideful to say yes. Go, make time, have fun and be open minded. We have to start the change somewhere!
Our relationships are lacking in substance because we are lacking in time and in confidence. How can we change this? How can convince ourselves and others to step out of the boxes that we have seemed to create?
Let me tell you how it’s really not that hard. Pick up your phone, call someone that you have been wanting to catch up with or get to know better and invite them over. It doesn’t matter what you serve, what you wear or what activity you have planned. Your heart is what matters, your friendship is what matters, your love matters.
I know it is so cliche to say, “be the change that you want to see in the world” but seriously “be the change that you want to see in the world”one baby step at a time. Don’t go all out and plan a crazy event, just get to know that neighbor a little better. Invite your best friend over for dinner that really is only 2 hours. Friends, we can’t support each other if we don’t know each other.
Reach out, be vulnerable and watch what happens for the better in your life.