People crave to belong. To be a part of something bigger, to be known and appreciated. This is how armies are peopled. Not many people are attracted too “YOU MIGHT DIE” or “YOU WON’T EAT WELL IN THE JUNGLE’. The iconic poster is the man pointing saying “we want you!” An identity, a need, a belonging.
In primary school i had an amazing group of friends, most of our grade liked each other and hung out. I belonged in a tighter knit friendship group, i also belonged in a church youth group that was very close. We enjoyed similar books, similar sports, the same music. We had common themes and behaviour that we shared. and as we belonged with each other we then began to have a common agreement on what was “cool” and what we would do on the weekends together.
This continued into high school but became a little fragmented. I became what was known as the “peoples gypsy” i was a part of most groups, but belonged to none. I could find myself in the sport group. I would play soccer, cricket, rugby. Sometimes i found myself in the sit under a tree group, or for a while the nerdy handball group. But i felt like i belonged in neither because i shared no common behaviour, i wasn’t all that committed to sport or sitting. Instead i would wander around with a good friend of the times and make people laugh. We would crack jokes and run around causing mischief. I felt like i belonged with him because we knew what was funny. an outworking of that knowledge and belonging is that we would find each other on the play ground, we knew how to make the people laugh, especially whilst playing soccer.
I then moved into a place of romance with music, and hopeful rockstardom. It was certainly not a decision made on merit. We were amazingly close friends, who enjoyed belonging together, who one day decided to have a go at a band. So we met up in a metal shed, in the Shipp families back yard. A house i had had sleep overs at which ended in lighting our farts and playing super nintendo. It was a place i belonged in and felt safe enough to begin writing and creating music that i had never attempted before. We would meet in this tiny shed twice a week for 3 hours. We attempted covers of bands who were better then us. We played around with tunings, we began to find that we could actually make a go of this. We had the grades best bass player. One of the better guitarists, and me and shipp who weren’t all that bad at writing songs. Our lead singer was tall and had a deep voice so we were ready.
We began to believe we were worth listening too. So we began to think about gigs, and recording, and even maybe enter competitions. There was no chance we could behave like a band first. For we would get on stage and look like idiots. We wouldn’t know we could do these things before we came together because we’d never tried. We belonged to the entity – a band, we believed we could be a band – we behaved like a band because we were one.
Theres been an interesting attitude in some youth groups that is committed to the opposite of this. A reversal. First you behave, then you believe then you get to belong. As young people came in they would be expected to behave like Jesus. They would then through behaving like Jesus, would Believe in Jesus and then feel like they belonged with Jesus. This guy (me) feels like thats whacked.
In families we belong, irrelevant to how we believe. Or how we behave. We are born into it. In a band we decide to belong first, way before we start behaving. If we begin behaving like we are in a marriage before we belong in a marriage…. (too far?) We join a a hockey team before we behave like a team. We have to run on the field before our behaviour starts.
Lets look at it from the opposite. If a person walks into a church and feels like they instantly belong it gives them an easier environment to see and smell and start to think through the implications of believing. When we believe cheese is good for us, we behave by eating more cheese. If you don’t believe we should behave like christ, why would you?
We belong in Christ – we were destined for that belonging before we arrived in the uterus.
We believe that belonging comes from a love that dies and shatters lies and death, and that belief gets stronger and stronger the more we see it and are effected by it.
We behave out of love because He first loved us.
We belong in the adoption clinic for the trinity through Christ our saviour. We are destined to be the one bride, the house and priesthood of God.