I was deer hunting yesterday….by the way, for those of you opposed to hunting…I am a terrible shot, and the wildlife population is normally quite safe when I am in the woods. I really just participate because it is a good opportunity to spend time with family and friends…
BUT…it is a great venue for getting quiet with God. When you are just sitting out in creation, you pay attention to the intricacies of wildlife. You hear the squirrels running around chasing each other in the woods, and the birds flying around…and you realize that every animal has a really unique and finite purpose.
I was really getting a kick out of watching a woodpecker…and it is a BEAUTIFUL bird. This one in particular was a jackhammer, and was beating his head against a tree (which of course reminds me of my days in the Pentagon…beating my head against a wall) with great fervency to get at the bugs that were hiding under the bark. And it really occurred to me how intricate God’s plan is for our lives, and how we each have a different skillset to complement each other…and we have to work together.
The plan started in the beginning…and we find it in the book of Genesis….
Genesis 4:20-22 – 20Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock. 21His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe. 22As for Zillah, she also gave birth to Tubal-cain, the forger of all implements of bronze and iron; and the sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah. (NASB)
From the beginning…God gave different people skills that would encourage community. And make us all lean on each other. I mean, let’s face it…you don’t want to go to someone who is great a forging implements, when you just want a sandwich. And you don’t want to go to a musician when you need some horseshoes for your horse. So we all need to lean on each other….
The same is still true today, but we have allowed ourselves to be confined into our own little cocoons. All of these “advancements” cause us to isolate ourselves. We don’t have to go out for food, or entertainment, or socialization…we can get things ordered in, order entertainment on the internet, and chat via phone/email.
And the result of all of that is that we are alone…because we don’t lean on each other any more. And when you are alone…it is really lonely…and when the storms hit your life, many times, there is no one to lean on.
But be encouraged….you can restore community…if you start with you. Get outside! Help your neighbors rake their leaves (please pass that on to my neighbors), help them shovel snow…talk to them….allow them in to your lives. Because there WILL come a day when you will need someone. And…there WILL be a day when you can help someone.
And when you do that….are you just helping? Nope…you are opening a window where you can tell them about Jesus. Where you can start to fellowship on a level much deeper than an occasional nod at the mailbox. Let’s see how the first century church did it…
Acts 4:32-35 – 32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need. (NIV)
Can you imagine living in a community like that? Not a commune….but a community! That is what God designed us for…in the beginning.
And I am thankful that I got to learn this when I was freezing my tail off, dressed in blaze orange…and sitting in a tree. Isn’t it amazing how God works?
Grace and peace, Dan