Doug Creamer: Social life
When summer rolls around I keep a very full social calendar. After a busy school year, I look forward to catching up with friends and family. I meet some people for breakfast, others for lunch. I only get the chance to see some of my friends during summer break.
My wife has a hard time keeping up with my schedule. I have to admit, I have a hard time remembering all my commitments, too. I have been learning to use Google calendar, which helps me stay organized. The trouble is, I still like to write things on the calendar near my desk. I have got to move over to Google exclusively, then I can share my calendar with my wife.
I like catching up with friends. I like it when the conversation flows naturally, when we share equally. I also like to be with people who are mutually encouraging. I know that I have a gift to encourage people, but sometimes the encourager needs encouraging, too. I have several friends who challenge me to think deeper or to see things from different perspectives. Sometimes I find myself meditating days or even weeks later on something that was said…I really like that.
Through the years I have been blessed to have a good relationship with my pastors, both past and present. I love getting them to laugh, sharing our journeys in the Lord, and just hearing about their daily lives. Conversations do not have to be all about spiritual things, sometimes it’s about how we live and endure the daily craziness. I count it a high honor when I get the chance to encourage or lift their burdens.
Some may wonder, is the Holy Spirit present when you are talking about the mundane things of everyday life? I can assure you from many past experiences that the Spirit of God is present when we share some time with our brothers and sisters in Christ. We all have interesting and sometimes crazy experiences that are fun for others to hear about. When we can share and connect with another believer on a normal, everyday level, then the doors open to share on a deeper, spiritual level.
We need each other in the body of Christ. God did not design the Christian walk to be done alone. Life is hard and He wants us to be there for each other. The crazy things you experience are there to help lift the burden of others who need a laugh to carry on. Two people in my church this week experienced the loss of a loved one. That’s when the body of Christ is called to come together to encourage and support those who are hurting.
We all have good days when we need to spread some sunshine in the lives of others. We all struggle with times when we are feeling kicked down by the daily hassles of life. That’s when being in fellowship with other believers can be critical. God wants to encourage us and lift our spirits. Sometimes God does that when we are around the family of God. That’s what brothers and sisters do.
When you are feeling down, ask someone to pray with you. It doesn’t have to be the pastor; all your brothers and sisters in Christ can pray with you. The same goes in the other direction. If you see your brothers or sisters looking downcast, take the initiative to go pray with them. Your prayers are powerful and effective. Your prayers can help the sun break through on someone’s cloudy day.
I believe God likes to use people who have been through what you are going through to help and encourage you through your storm. The only way they can know is if you are in fellowship and you open your heart to share. It’s hard to open our hearts to others, but if we have been sharing with them during the good times, the connections are already made for the tough times.
I want to encourage you to connect with other believers. If you will work on building those connections when times are good, you can be sure that help is on the way when times are bad. I can assure you there have been times in my life when I felt I was lost at sea, when all of a sudden a friend braved my storm and threw me a life preserver. We need to be in fellowship, to open our hearts to others who are struggling to walk out their faith, too. That’s God’s plan for how we are all going to make it safely to the end.
Contact Doug at email@example.com