I am often reminded, as I interact with phenomenal millennials in New York City, that although New York is not the center of the universe as some of us here may like to believe, it is a place that shapes culture in significant ways.
The same can be said for other major cities and the people in each. As I spend time with this generation, I’m struck with how much they have to offer.
Cities refine faith and surface what truly exists in a person’s life. They can expose doubts in things we never imagined we would question. They can also expose gaps in our character that lie way beneath the surface, that we never thought would work their way out.
But what if this process benefits us? What if the refining we encounter in the city actually leads to a previously unseen wholeness? What if it doesn’t cause us to retreat, but actually enables us to express something authentic that the world cannot ignore?
What if the city brought out:
This sounds good. I yearn for wholeness, but dividedness often seems easier. The default to a different narrative can be so much easier.
The divided life often ends up looking like this:
Even though it’s overwhelming, we are not stuck. Though difficult, God promises to faithfully complete our journey toward experiencing wholeness rooted deeply in Jesus.
I am more convinced than ever that we will need others in the journey in order to faithfully pursue wholeness in this city context.
The value of taking the risk to travel below the surface of our lives might be summed up in 3 ways:
It’s risky business to choose wholeness because it makes us vulnerable in ways we would prefer to avoid. But we cannot embrace this challenge alone, at least not for long. We need trustworthy relationships and tenacious communities of support to sustain the journey toward an undivided life.
As Parker J. Palmer says, “The journey has solitary passages, to be sure, and yet it is simply too arduous to take without the assistance of others.”
What inhibits you from developing relationships that move you closer to Christ?
What one thing can you do to help make your relationships spur you toward Christ and His mission?
Offer your suggestions in the comments below.
For another great resource, see Redemptive Relationships.
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