And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25
What happens between you and another person is never just human-to-human interaction — the Spirit is at work in every encounter. Some people refer to this as “the fellowship of the Spirit.” Fellowship has become a bit of a ‘churchy’ word that suggests Church halls, coffee and polite conversation. But it is really a word for the flow of the Holy Spirit between one person and another, and we cannot live without it.
An academic journal called The Journal of Happiness Studies published a study that identified what distinguished happy people from less happy people. It was not how much money they had, their health, security, IQ or career success. One factor that consistently came up was the presence of rich, joy-producing, meaningful relationships. Whenever there is an exchange of genuine caring, it is as if the roots of your soul are getting fed. Every life has to have that connectedness.
When a tree puts roots into the ground, those roots are able to take in nutrients and water, and the tree grows and has life and strength. In the same way, we are rooted and our souls are nourished in the love of God and other people. We experience this both physically and emotionally when we connect with somebody.
Part of what it means to be made in God’s image is our capacity for connectedness, because God created human beings and then said, “It isn’t good for man to be alone.”
Connectedness is not the same thing as knowing many people. People may have many contacts in many networks, but they may not have many friends. We flourish when we are connected with God and people, and we suffer when we are disconnected.
When we live in isolation, we are more likely to give into temptation or discouragement. Not only do we suffer when we live in disconnectedness, but then other people whom God placed around us get cheated out of the love God intended us to give them as well.
We were designed to flourish in connectedness.
Fortunately, at TLS I feel this connectedness every day. I am lucky enough to have developed meaningful relationships with the students in my class, their parents, my colleagues and other members within the wider school community. Within these relationships at TLS, I experience genuine care and feel much joy. I know that this is genuine care because even during the busiest of times throughout the term, we still give each other our time and attention.
I am so thankful that I can flourish in connectedness every day. I pray that you feel this way too.
God’s Richest Blessings,