In high school, my alarm would go off at 4:00 am and I’d be jumping into the pool by 5:30 am. I can’t tell you how happy my dad was when I finally got my driver’s license.
I remember standing on the pool deck in my suit, cap and goggles, and dreading how cold the water was going to be. Because it was never warm. Never. But I learned early on that it didn’t get any warmer if you just stood there, or if you gingerly dipped in one toe at a time. And so eventually, I just dove in with both feet.
I guess that’s where I get it from.
When I move to a new city or state, I jump in with both feet. No matter if I’m going to be there for a year, four years, or forever, I invest in where I am. I get involved in a church, a small group, my workplace, and anywhere I can. Part of it is because I need community – particularly Christian community – to keep me grounded. But the other part of it is because that’s what I’ve been called to.
Called to invest.
Called to be involved.
Called to be all in, no matter what.
Called to be in community.
Called to jump in with both feet.
Don’t get me wrong – this is good. It has a lot of benefits – not the least of which is having accountability and community from brothers and sisters in Christ. But it is also very, very hard.
When you invest in a place, in the people there, and then God calls you elsewhere, it feels as though your heart is breaking. No matter whether I’ve been somewhere for a year or four or fifteen, a piece of my heart always gets left behind.
It’s hard to be the one to leave.
The great theologian Winnie the Pooh once said, “How lucky am I to have something that makes leaving so hard.” It truly is a blessing to have communities and churches to invest in and to get involved in. But it is also hard to leave them and be faced with building new relationships, new community.
It’s so worth it to invest.
To get involved.
And so instead of sitting in the back and never getting to know anyone, I’ll keep getting involved. Keep getting to know people. Keep joining the choir and the worship team. Keep babysitting. Keep jumping in with both feet. Keep doing what I’ve been called to do.