A recent invitation was extended to join a club. The entry criteria were commitment, action, and stories. The first part was personal; one believed and then acted on that belief. The second was encouraging others by telling their stories. Do this and you are in! It seemed simple, however in hindsight there is always a subtext with questions.
What does a person do if there are no stories to tell? Does belonging to the club mean that one’s peers are going to give you a grade? Are stories held up against a benchmark?
Everyone on the invitation had attended a recent conference. During the conference, different presenters had given the group an invitation to be part of something greater than the present. We were encouraged to use what we had to make a difference. Several called for us to act, in big ways and small, to push for the right things while doing the right things. Stories were recognized as the vehicles we could use to encourage and motivate each other. The invitation that followed proposed forming a small group to respond to the greater calling.
I understand the uncertainty with stories. There are periods of our life where our stories are quiet. Things are happening but to us, they do not seem very noteworthy. It is hard to know what to tell others during these times.
I also see a challenge with competing priorities. How does this calling trump all others? The simple answer is that it flavors everything. It does not stand on its own, it only finds life when combined with how we live and act.
The conference was a calling to community and compassion. We can live in the knowledge of Others. We can help, support, and work with their interests in mind. Community is real. Compassion is action. When we believe, “we know that we are held firm by God; it’s only the people of the world who continue in the grip of the Evil One.” (1 John 5.19) I see the choice as Others versus I. I want to belong.