We discussed a lot, but it often came back to community.
Are you part of your local community?
How do you define community?
As military a family we are continually moving.
The more I move, the more I want to stay connected to my friends and family in distant lands...
Holding onto treasured bonds.
Friends that I trust with my heart.
Friends that will hold me accountable in a way I am familiar with.
Sometimes I might even think that I can maintain that same sense of community from a distance.
But it isn't the same.
Or I might try to join a community online to meet new friends.
It has been known to work.
But it is easy to get stuck.
It is easy to get stuck in an online community.
It is easy to join an online community that simply agrees with everything I think I know.
It is easy to join an online community without opening my heart.
It is easy to join an online community that doesn't know who I really am.
Online, I can be whoever I want to be... or whoever I am expected to be.
I can judge and correct others without looking them in the eye...
Without compassionate discussion.
So... how important is it to be a part of the local, breathing, hand-shaking, community of people who will move away in a matter of months?
It isn't easy.
And online communities are a great resource.
But rarely are they actually a community.
They are more of a forum.
The Internet Forum:
It is not uncommon for nonsense or unsocial behavior to sprout as people lose temper, especially if the topic is controversial. Poor understanding of differences in values of the participants is a common problem on forums. Because replies to a topic are often worded aimed at someone's point of view, discussion will usually go slightly off into several directions as people question each other's validity, sources and so on. Circular discussion and ambiguity in replies can extend for several tens of posts of a thread eventually ending when everyone gives up or attention spans waver and a more interesting subject takes over. (Wikipedia)
Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, being jealous of one another. (Galatians 5:26)
I submit this to you, that in order to grow and mature as individuals we need actual community.
It isn't a new idea.
It isn't complicated.
But, it isn't usually easy.
Much like following Christ.
It is so simple.
There is so little we actually have to agree on.
But it isn't always easy.
And in order to grow and mature as Christians, we need local community.
Please share some of the ways you have found community at new duty stations.