We all want to belong. God made us to belong. From Eden to everyman, there’s a deep need for attachment and belonging. We want to be included in things with other people. Someone asked famous writer and poet Carl Sandburg what his least favorite word was. His answer? Exclusive.
I smile at the number of Clemson hats, University of Georgia stickers, and Notre Dame shirts I see. People who’ve never even been on campus include themselves in Clemson nation or among the Bulldog faithful. Everybody has their team. It’s a little-bitty way to belong, to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. It expands our identity by connecting us with others who are like us. It seems petty and unimportant, but it’s there. The rise of technology and our increase in time spent looking at the screens has created an epidemic of loneliness. We may have a ton of connections on LinkedIn and Instagram, but who really knows us? Who knows what’s going on inside our heads and hearts?
True belonging starts with being known. Who knows us? Does someone know what matters to us and why? Or what makes us tick? If being known is important, being needed may be even more crucial. Who needs us? Who are we important to? When we don’t show up, what important role goes unfilled? What tasks go undone? And maybe most importantly, who notices?
Identifying with a football team is an external thing (well, except for Alabama fans!). Being known and being needed are internal. It matters in our souls.
Church is where we should be known and needed. So, get involved. Go to church and sign up to serve. Start this year by committing to meeting a need someone can’t meet for themselves. And watch as God connects you with like-hearted people where, over time, you’ll know you belong.
Scripture: And all who believed were together and had all things in common. (Acts 2:44)