This past week we had the “pleasure” of hosting our grandchildren on their annual “Camp Fun.” This particular year was exciting as the number had grown to nine grandkids, four of them 2 or under in age. Parents are not invited to this event, and it is designed for them to get to know their cousins (who live all over the country) and us in a safe but fun-filled environment.
We enlisted help for this one, as trying to wrangle nine kids with two older supervisors is way beyond crazy and into the countryside of the insane. So, we invited my wife Sally’s cousin and her husband, to assist.
I won’t bore you with all the details of this great time together, but rather bring out something which struck me as I now reflect on the event. During my stay, the integration of all these kids and ourselves got me thinking about the issue of belonging.
Belonging is something we all desire, and when a group comes together for the first time (as was the case with the help from Sally’s relatives and the younger kids) a lot of muscling for a position in the hierarchy of control, but also a desire to feel loved and a sense of belonging.
This belonging can also cause us to break into factions, or splinter groups, to set one up against the other. Something we see all too often in our society today; and yet, we still want some overall belonging to the larger team as well. None of us reacts well to rejection, and this is one form of reaction which causes us to “unbelong” to the larger group.
While our little annual loving experiment which is Camp Fun is just a microcosm of a world consisting of cousins, it can be enlarged to our world today. We all have a tremendous desire to belong, but often by fulfilling this desire to belong to one group, we vilify and reject others. How many groups who disliked Christ did He reject? Scripture tells us if we mistreat others, we are mistreating Christ. Does this not all start with a desire to belong somewhere?
So this week, I am going to try and think about belonging differently. My desire to belong should be based on a loving disposition and willingness to understand others views, not reject them because I am stronger, have a different color skin or faith tradition.
Where Do I Belong?
Do I belong to a place?
Or my ancestry?
Or my childhood home?
Or the country where I live now?
Home is now and where I belong is today.