Sometimes I wish I lived on one of those communes. Not the creepy David Koresh kind. No, not one of the cult-y ones where they isolate themselves from the world and hoard up big guns and lots of ammo and have bizarre sex things going on. Or is that a compound? Whichever. Doesn’t matter, really. Just trust that there will be no Kool-Aid at my commune slash compound.
My commune is one of those happy hippy ones where everyone gets along and loves to just hang out and spend time together. The women don’t have to shave their legs and the men don’t have to shave their faces. There is no weird stuff—only people who love God and love each other and take care of each other, who work together and raise their families and then take care of the older, wiser ones when they need it. (Yeah, I know I joked about the communes in my last post—don’t give me a hard time.)
But, seriously, I think about these things.
I would have all the awesome people I have ever loved live there. We would live near a grocery store because I am not all about growing stuff. Sadly, I was born without a green thumb. Can it still be a commune if you don’t grow stuff? But wait, among those people I love is my precious mother-in-law and my grandma who are both quite green thumb-ish, so perhaps we could grow food on our commune after all.
Of course, my parents would live next door. Along with my grandmas and my brothers and their wives and all my nieces and nephews. Hubby’s mama would live on the other side. All along the gravel road, (cause you know communes don’t have paved roads, honey) would be all of Hubby’s sisters and their families.
Then, there are the people who have touched my life in some way who would have to live there too. My friend who I’ve known since I was 9 years old and who is still my friend. My bff from high school—who is still my bff today—and her family. All those awesome kids from camp back in the 80s. The adults, besides my parents, who have helped mold me: the folks who ministered at those camps, my 4th grade teacher (Mrs. Wells, are you still out there somewhere??), my 6th grade teacher (NOT the evil math teacher, but the other one). College roomies, you’re there too. All those special people I met and loved growing up.
Oh, and all those precious friends we’ve met over the last 22 years as Hubby and I have trekked all over the country would have to be there too—especially my sweet Moncure friend who I talk to every day, and my precious Bible study friend from Winston-Salem, who is my prayer warrior. My Iowa friends and my Texas friends. My North Carolina peeps and my South Carolina peeps. You, yes, you—you know who you are. Yes, all of you will be there too.
Then I could see my people all. the. time. And we could just hang. I see us sitting around in our loungers swapping stories and really getting to know each other on a whole new level. Maybe there is a campfire where we could all sit around, join hands and sing Kum Ba Yah, I don’t know. I haven’t quite got it all figured out yet, but I’m working on it.
I think a lot about this, now, as life seems to become increasingly complicated, and time seems to be whizzing by me at the speed of light. I feel washed over by the tidal wave of busy-ness and it just seems like I am missing some really important stuff. Sometimes I just want it all to STOP. To find some way to simplify this life and break it down to what is really important.
All you really have in this life, all that is of any true and lasting value, is the relationships you create with people.
Relationship. That is what God created us for in the first place, you know. He didn’t create us to see how much money we could make or how successful we could be. How stressed out we could be or how in debt we would be or how much stuff we could accumulate. OH! How the stuff does bog us down!
He created us for relationship. Fellowship. To love. To love Him and to love others.
Here is where my LCD kicks in. I love me some TobyMac. Did I say love? I mean, really love. One of my favorite TM songs is Made to Love. (I won’t review here for you the lyrics in their entirety—as I’ve been known to do—you’ve got internet access, look it up. Better yet, give it a listen.)
Here is what the chorus says:
I was made to love you
I was made to find you
I was made just for you
Made to adore you
I was made to love
And be loved by you
You were here before me
You were waiting on me
And you said you’d keep me
Never would you leave me I was made to love
and be loved by you
We were made to love. And be loved. It is that simple, y’all.
I just find that I am really hungry for that lately. Hungry for those relationships and to just spend time—that isn’t rushed or limited—with those precious folks. I find myself trying to figure out HOW we can make it happen. How we can simplify and pare down the trappings of this life and get down to the nitty gritty of what is really real and true.
That, my friends, is not so simple.
But, I think about it. And wish for it. And pray for it.
Just so you know, my (imaginary) commune is not a gated community. It is not any kind of exclusive club. All are welcome. In fact, the more, the better, as far as I’m concerned.
“Dare to love and to be a real friend. The love you give and receive is a reality that will lead you closer and closer to God as well as those whom God has given you to love.” ~Henri J. M. Nouwen