Connecting Point

Connecting Point: June 9, 2024

Although obstacles are simply a part of life, we have become a society that needs instant gratification. We find waiting for anything to be a nuisance. Perhaps when these obstacles arise, we should think of them as God’s way of telling us to take time and reflect on the situation instead of immediately resorting to frustration and anger.

For many of us, some obstacles are also of our own making. Personally, I create four of them: I want to take control and do things my way, when I want, and by myself. There is an old Yiddish adage: “Man plans, and God laughs.” Well, God laughs at me daily, but when he does, he gives me his mercy and redemption, as in today’s psalm. I may stumble and fall often, but I am a work in progress, working toward a life more centered on what God wants for me, with the hope of keeping my need for control to a minimum. 

We hear about our need to live in community throughout the scriptures. However, the verse that resonates with me the most is Mark 6:7, when “Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits.” Jesus teaches us that we cannot live our lives solely by ourselves and for ourselves. Yes, God created us to be individual people with our own gifts, but, importantly, he created us to need each other and to help care for the people of the world in community.

There are endless examples of what community is. Our families are a type of community, as is our church, where we gather to worship our Lord as one. We cannot pray well without a community of believers coming together, with their individual gifts, to honor and praise our Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, our neighbors, towns, and cities are communities. Look at all the various volunteer organizations in our area! These groups are not one single individual but instead are people bringing forth their gifts to reach a common goal. Think about when natural disasters strike and how total strangers reach out to help the victims get through the hardship. How simple yet greatly appreciated are their donations of food, water, clothing, and time?

God created us as people who need others in order to live fully. When we experience obstacles in life, remember that we cannot move past them alone; we need help from others to get through them. We must remember that it is through the love of others that we experience God’s grace, the ultimate gift we all desire.

“How good and how pleasant it is, when God’s people dwell together as one!” (Psalm 133).