One Saturday morning, I had breakfast with 2 people who are alumni of Eastern Kentucky University and Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. One of them was a big influence on me becoming a Christian. It took a while to get this going because we had different schedules and both of them are husbands and fathers. At breakfast, we talked about things like racism, faith, sports (for the two of them), and family.
After having the breakfast and being back in Lexington, I realized that people need the right people on their team. I say that because of the two men I eat with and how their presence had a positive influence. If I needed some advice on some spiritual stuff, I would look them up. Heck, one is studying to be a doctor.
I’m not saying to have a team of people. I know there are people who prefer doing things on their own. Part of what I’m saying is that people need a support group. Another part is that people need close friends in their life, ones that are true in nature, even if it’s not what folks want to hear. I wonder how many people have an entourage that is around, but they feel they have no one to confide in. How many people have friends who seem to mean well, but there is an ulterior motive? How many people know somebody who seems to be antagonistic, but they have their best interest?
In the past, I kept to myself. This was mostly from middle school to high school. I didn’t speak to people, and if I shared something in common with another I wouldn’t speak to them because of the personality differences. I was turned down from hanging out with people before, and it was discouraging, but looking back at it now there were some social arcs, some cliques, different groups, and I didn’t know where I belonged. I just drew and sung in choirs. Those things came with me, but the people disappeared. It would have been great if those things disappeared as quickly as the people. I didn’t know about the insecurities. I didn’t know about the fears. I participated in posting a front so that others won’t know what I thought or who I really was. It took a while to deal with that and heal, and the process still goes on today. If I knew that it didn’t matter what people thought of me then, I may have been public enemy number one (insert raspberry here).
With the right person on their team, a person like me would know that they don’t need to fit into any group to get that sense of belonging. They could find it in their faith, their family, and not in people that will only be around for a season. That’s what I would share and encourage. People my age still look to belong somewhere, and if they don’t they feel alone in the world. It’s okay to go out any try new things and get involved in something to get that social interaction. I hope that people break from the negative parts of being a part of a group.
It’s late, and I still haven’t packed for a trip I will be taking this weekend. I will be seeing some faces I haven’t seen in a while who I fellowshipped with at a Chinese church. Yes, a Chinese church. Some made a big impact, and there were also challenges. How many of us had people on our team in an atmosphere like that?
And I’m just getting started.