With Jesus we belong.
I recently came across this quote on social media.
In seeking who said it or where the quote came from I found this article and now have a new favorite website which I’m sure will be a great distraction from what I really should be doing. How did I not know this site before?! Anyhoo … let me refill my coffee and we’ll get back to our discussion on belonging and seeing…
I can remember conversations with my son when he was a teenager about the video games he wanted because all his friends were playing them and he needed them so he could participate. Some of us parents had stricter policies about violent games than others and I tried to say all the right cautionary parental things about exposing ourselves to too much violence … and it all seemed to fall on deaf ears because my son saw the situation differently than I did. He was seeing it from a teen’s perspective and a need to be accepted by his peer group. I was seeing it from a parent’s perspective with the knowledge that comes with having survived the adolescent years relatively unscathed and with an adult understanding of belonging.
My son wasn’t yet wise enough to realize that his vision toward the violence in the games was clouded by his need to belong. He could justify the activity because he was a part of something. This is normal developmental behavior for teens. But as we grow and mature, experience teaches us that the activities/actions/teachings of a group do matter and they matter more than our need to belong because we understand the formative nature of groups.
We are human. We see others and the world around us from our perspective, as we are. It takes intentional effort to learn to ask, “what am I choosing not to see?” so that we can better see things as they are. And as we try to teach our kids: it does matter who we choose to join up with.
Jesus tells us that he is the light and that when we follow him we will have the light of life1. We will have the vision to see as Jesus sees: through the lens of love and compassion and grace. With this light we will be better equipped to see things as they are because we are living as we are created to live, in the light of God’s Love.
1 See The Gospel according to John, chapter 8, specifically verse 12, but the whole chapter is illuminating.