Sometimes, though very rarely, I get those moments when you realise that there is something specific about life you are supposed to be learning. Something relevant to you, right where you are, right amongst everything you are going through, right smack in the face.
And I had one of those moments this week. A few different things all came together at the same time to teach me a lesson I needed to learn.
Let me picture the scene for you.
My fiancee (that was for you Brittany, see I do remember) and I are doing a kind of sweets fast. No sweets or chocolate etc at all except for one day a week. We have attempted this before and it feels good to do somethine like this together. But the point is that I love chocolate and I to not eat any during the week is a real challenge. One, that if it was up to me I would have abandoned long ago. But I know from fasting before it will be worth it.
That doesn’t change the fact that when I am alone and Brittany isn’t around the temptation is very high to buy myself a deliciuous bar of Whispa Gold (thank God for Whispa Gold, that is all I will say). It would taste so good and yummy and would make me feel so good. I have no doubt about that.
It’s the next time I am with Brittany and she asks me how I am getting on with our fast when trouble begins. The temptation is then to lie and say I have had nothing to eat. But that could lead to more lies and even though it may seem trivial over a bar of chocolate it could start to snowball.
But the temptation to taste chocolate is too much for me on my own. And if it was down to me I would give in. But thankfully it’s not. Thankfully I know I can text Brittany and when I do she will reply with encouragement. I know that I am not alone in this. I know that when I am struggling I have someone who I can talk to, someone who will help me see what I’m not seeing.
The last few weeks I have also started up with accountability with a friend and having someone to turn to when the heat gets too much as far as temptation with lust and porn in involved, is so freeing. Anytime I feel like turning on the computer and searching for porn I know that when I text my friend he will be right there to offer me encouragement and help me see past the moment. And hopefully vice versa.
Thirdly, it’s been great to start meeting up with some new friends and talk through Blue Like Jazz together. It’s what church should be. Studying and talking and learning from each other. Even though we don’t always agree we know that we can do that without it turning into a fight. We know that we can come to a safe place and be open and know that there will be people who can help us.
These three things together have helped me to view the importance of community. We aren’t supposed to go it alone. We are supposed to help each other, not judge each other and we are meant to love each other. It’s been great learning this recently. It has been freeing.
I have wasted so much time in the past trying to go it alone. I have tried to pretend that I don’t need help. I have always been like that. But this week I think I have reached a turning point. I think now I will stop before I face a challenge and think would it be easier to go it alone or do I need help.
This isn’t anything new. From day 1 God knew that we wouldn’t be able to cope on our own. That’s why he created Eve for Adam (I think it’s interesting that it was the man that needed help)
In Colossions Paul ends the book talking about all the people who are helping the church. He lists all these people who care and who are praying for the church. Because they know that we all need help. There is a community feel to this church. It feels like you can be yourself and you don’t need to be afraid of being laughed at or hurt.
I like this. And I think when church starts living this out we can all grow and we can solve so many problems in our own lives and in church. When we can be honest with each other and know that there will be help without being judged, we can start living like we were meant to be.