Don’t Just Believe…Belong!

by kingteamdad

In Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” (Romans 12:5 NIV)

Ramblings from Connor’s dad [with snippets interjected from Ted’s son in brackets]– My old roommate told me an interesting thing today.  A good friend of ours, Les Lambert, had his son Dalton come up to him and say “Dad, I want to go back to my old school.”  His son had just finished his first year in public high school, and was asking to go back to the small Christian school he attended previously. Les asked Dalton “could it be because he went from being a big fish in a little pond to being a little fish in a big pond?”  Dalton without hesitation replied, “No, its more like going from a clean pond with friends, to a polluted lake.” [That’s a scarily accurate description.]

His son had experienced a “pond” where he belonged. He was among Christian friends who encouraged him and held him accountable. He had been transplanted last year to a “polluted lake”, with few friends, and no spiritual encouragement, or spiritual accountability. He had experienced belonging…and he had experienced existing…and he preferred belonging.

Connor’s experience was similar. He, however, wanted to stay in public high school and tolerate it because he wanted some of the things it offered educationally [and for the mission opportunity]. He felt like he was strong enough [maybe hard headed enough] to tolerate it. I’d like to think Connor knew he had a place to belong…both at home and at church. [Home definitely made up for the lack of good food and general morality, that’s for sure!]

It’s interesting because a couple of  years later when we were pondering the same for Lacy, Connor quickly spoke up and said she should NOT go to his public school. [I would never suggest it to anyone who wasn’t firmly rooted in their faith…and I just didn’t want her exposed to all that stuff] A very similar reaction was communicated this year as we went through the same exercise with Evan.

I am so thankful God blessed me with Kris. Most of the things we have done right with the kids was instigated by her. Their home schooling, the decision to move out of  a neighborhood to a more rural setting, and even our choice of church, have all been at her urging.  I look at each decision and its effect on us. The lifestyle we’ve enjoyed and surrounded our family with, has allowed our kids not just to believe, but to belong.  Connor has experienced family, fellowship, and community, through our home and our church.

As Connor prepares to go off to college in a few weeks, 7 hours away [9 by train], we are excited for him, because we have walked a campus where we know he won’t just believe and exist.  At Liberty we know he will believe and belong!  We talked to faculty, some who are friends, and know he will experience a sense of community, fellowship, and even family.  And through that encouragement and process, fulfill God’s purpose for his life.

[Mom and I were just talking about the differences in how Lacy and I learn. Lacy loved to learn because it meant quality time with teacher, whereas I refused help from anyone {part of the reason I survived public school I suppose}. It didn’t mean I didn’t like the teacher, I simply learned better alone. In the church, we see the same type of division. There are the people who enjoy interaction (pastors and teachers), and people who would rather work the sidelines (deacons and tech). That’s exactly how God created us: to fill a job in such a way that we feel comfortable.]

My prayer today is I will not just believe, but I will belong.  And in doing that, I pray that people will see a peace and joy that they will recognize comes from my relationship with Christ….

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If I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth.  (1 Timothy 3:15)

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