The kids and I went to Project Playground this afternoon… I love that place! In between swinging on the ropes and climbing on the pirate ship and playing tag… I was able to meet some new people. I had a very inspiring conversation with a guy I met there; while our kids were playing we talked about community.
We lamented about the fact that no one knows their neighbors anymore. We lamented about the fact that everyone was working so hard, commuting so far, and stretching their time so thin that it left so little time for getting to know one another. Of course, these are hard times and everyone has got to do what it takes to make ends meet… but we expressed what many have expressed with reget… the days seem to be gone in which you could strike up a friendship with a few neighbors on the block and from there develop some meaningful ‘community’.
But then it occurred to me… the playground! I have been to Project Playground several times and I am never without a wonderful encounter in which the kids make friends and play together (as only kids can) while we few parents hang around chatting. It is almost as if the ‘neighborhood’ has moved to the playground. I see great potential for striking up friendships, having good conversations, and feeling a true sense of community. We may have left the ‘neighborhood’ but we still all gather at the playground… what a chance to meet one another and talk!
We are still in Acts 4 today, and as ‘works in progress’ we shouldn’t downplay the need we all have to be connected in community. Check out verse 32:
Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common.
Now of course… we are not going to pool all of our possessions in some kind of commune… that would be weird! But, when we read this verse (and the others around it) we find that the bonds of community were highly valued, highly sought, and highly inspiring to bring people to better more healthy place. There is something about sharing a common bond, sharing time, sharing interest… that enriches life in good and positive ways.
So, if you walking out your front door each day lamenting that you don’t even know your neighbors… or your weekly schedule is so frantic that you find your family ‘cut off’ from the rest of the world… come on out to the playground… maybe we’ll see each other there!