I remember the moment as vividly as if it was yesterday. I had just had another nasty run in with my father, over grades of course. My rebellion and his punitive responses had been escalating for several years, but became particularly intense the first half of my junior year in high school. Our joint presence in almost any situation typically ended up in some violent clash like two battering rams.
So here I was in my car at nearly midnight, driving around Rockville, Maryland fuming about our most recent altercation. I’d stormed out and gone for a drive many times before, but this time was different. I was determined to run away and stay away! But one sickening moment later, I realized I’d left my wallet at home. “What now?” I wondered.
It felt like the earth slipped from beneath my feet and the deep darkness of utter aloneness engulfed me. I belonged to no one and to nowhere. I felt completely vulnerable, and fear washed over my anger, leaving me totally lost inside. It was the most devastating moment of my young life.
Then I remembered my older sister, Chung-Hae, at Smith College. I would go to her. She would help me. Although she didn’t always approve of my actions, I knew she unconditionally accepted me. She had my back, and that knowledge brought me intense relief. Suddenly life became doable again. I was able to stay with her briefly, long enough to get some perspective on the situation, and eventually returned home.
Ever find yourself wondering who do I belong to and where do I belong? Who’s got your back when your life is in crisis? Do you feel confident in the loyalty and commitment of others to you, or do you experience an inner void inside as your mind draws a blank?
Psychologists tell us that in order to be emotionally healthy and secure we need a social safety net of at least 6 to 10 invested relationships. These are friends outside your immediate family who have a committed relationship with you. You could call them in the middle of the night and they would come to your aid.
Unfortunately many people don’t have adequate social safety nets. As our cities have grown, our community ties have disintegrated. Many of us don’t know our neighbors, despite the fact we have lived next to them for years. Our busyness and mobility only further increase our anonymity. We survive our workdays, often extended by long commutes, and then use weekends to catch up on errands, do house and yard work, and chauffeur the kids to their events.
Our days are so crowded we have to schedule coffee time with friends, and often our friends know more about our coffee preferences at Starbucks, than they do about what is really happening in our lives. Despite our vital need for committed relationships with others, as adults, we find few venues that offer the opportunity to connect in meaningful and lasting ways.
God created us with the desire to belong and be significant to others. He knows we need the mutual support and strength that comes from sharing our lives in acceptance and fellowship with one another. In Hebrews 10:25 He says: “Do not neglect meeting together as some people do, but encourage one another.”
God further tells us to give life to each other in hard times and crises, by serving one another. “Jesus makes the whole community fit together perfectly. As each person does their own special service, it helps other people to grow, so that the whole community is healthy and growing and full of love.” (Ephesians 4:16)
Our mission at HRock Church is “Connecting Community, Advancing People…to God”.
We believe in the importance of providing multiple ways for people to connect. We have dozens of Rock Groups that focus on interests from fitness to martial arts, crafts to movies, and singles’ activities to Bible studies. All our groups offer opportunities to meet others, share interests and develop relationships that will enrich your life. You don’t have to be a Church member to join, so check us out.
Come join us this Sunday at 10:30 AM as we continue the discussion of the “Benefits of Belonging to a Small Group” and afterwards we will have a ROCK GROUP fair where you can learn about many of the available small groups at HROCK Church.