Archive for May, 2012

Trading Chaos for Connection

Trading chaotic lifestyles for connected relationships—that’s the subtitle of the book by Randy Frazee entitled: Making Room for Life.  I was drawn to Randy’s book because he seemed to describe exactly what I’ve seen.  We are incredibly busy and yet our lives don’t seem full.  We are overcommitted yet time and time again people tell me they still feel something is missing in life.  Are we not doing enough?  No, the truth is we have become distracted from life by busyness.

God revealed to the Jewish people a rhythm or pattern for life.  At the center of healthy living is relationships.  Why?  God created us for relationships.  Indeed, God himself lives in eternal self-giving unity within the Trinity.  Father, Son and Holy Spirit enjoy each other and share life together.  Despite how busy we may be or how much life we try to cram into them, we will feel empty unless we are investing in significant relationships.  Why?  This is how God made us.  He made us for life together.

Now the Jewish people had this priority woven into their lives.  Here’s the way it worked.  There were three major activities that filled each day: work, relationships, and sleep. Their time of productive work was limited to the hours of daylight, from about 6am until 6 pm.  Once the sun went down, work had to stop. From that point on, time was devoted to relationships—your family, friends, and neighbors.  These moments were spent over food, story telling, and sharing your life with others. Then, by 10pm each evening, everyone would settle down for a good night’s sleep.

I feel peace just thinking about this.  So what has happened?  We’ve lost this rhythm.  The productive work time has squeezed everything out.  People and sleep have been pushed to the margins by the idea that the more we can cram into our daylight hours, the more fulfilled and productive we can be.  This is how we can feel almost perpetually tired and yet still feel empty at the same time.  We miss the point that God did not make us to be productive and we begin to see that we are missing out on relationships.

Here’s where I believe the church comes in. At Granada we have community groups to encourage us to connect, to balance our lives and build relationships. If we let it, the busyness and activities will crowd out what matters most, people and God.  This is why I am inviting you to connect and participate in community this summer.  Today you will see a list of all the opportunities to share life together. There are Bible studies and cooking classes, and much more—a total of 29 different ways you can connect your life to others this summer.

What would happen if you used the summer to change your life rhythm and made a conscious effort to build community?  What would happen if you traded chaotic life for connection?

(I would recommend Randy’s book:  Making Room for Life.)