7.4 billion people in the world, but we have never felt more alone. In a world of online connectivity how can we experience so much disconnection? Why must we connect?
Because whether we like it or not, we all want and need the “ABC’s” – acceptance, belonging and community. Some people meet this need at the B-A-R. Where there is an open invite to walk in as you are, feel like you have a place to belong to, and join a community of like-minded people all searching for the same thing: the ABC’s.
God designed the ABC’s. We have a God-written desire to be included; to be a part. We want even the smallest role in the big picture. We want to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. It means we have a part to play; a piece to carry; something to give; a contribution to the greater whole. We have meaning, purpose and significance. We have a place and we are needed in that place.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27 (ESV)
We are this way because that is God’s image in us. We were made in His image, and He needs the ABC’s too! God Himself is in a small group called the Trinity. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are all accepted as 3 persons of the God-head, and they belong in community. They each carry out different roles and parts of the big picture. The Holy Spirit hovered over the waters at Creation (Gen 1:2) and was later sent to us as a Helper and Counselor. (John 14:26) Jesus Christ was approved at His baptism by His Father when He said, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” (Luke 3:22) Certainly Jesus experienced the fulfillment of acceptance, belonging and community that we all long for.
When we don’t feel acceptance, or don’t belong to something or have any kind of community with others, we experience internal pain leading to feelings of rejection, exclusion, and exile. We feel alienated; one definition being: “a person who has been estranged or excluded.” It is opposite to our nature to be this way.
This disconnections can happen in many places: not feeling like a part of one’s own family, or losing your family. If you are singled out in a group and don’t feel like you fit in any longer; you begin to isolate yourself, slip away and wonder why you feel on the outside.
We all just want to be known, and be received as we are and have something in common. Perhaps connecting yourself to your Netflix shows or constant TV is your unconditional acceptance. Harnessing your emotions to social media is an addicting alternative and leads you hungering for signs of positive contact and connection.
God always speaks of drawing closer, leaning in, taking a part of and joining together. Rarely does God speak of moving away, or apart, or separating unless it is in reference to distancing yourself from evil, wickedness or things that displease Him.
Do we recognize what people are seeking when they go to the bar? Are the myriad of connections and social media contacts understandable today? Yes. These are all efforts to fulfill God created desires within each of us.
When you think about it, connecting is the whole idea. Our sin in the garden disconnected us from God, and He has spent the centuries of time providing His Son as a way to reconnect us and pursuing us to connect with Him. As C.S. Lewis clarifies, these temporary connections are merely suggestions of the real thing.
“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
“Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing. If that is so, I must take care…never to be unthankful for, these earthly blessings, and never to mistake them for the something else of which they are only a kind of copy, or echo, or mirage.”
What’s the solution? If you know how to connect to God, but haven’t in a while, you know what you need to do. If you do not know how to connect to God, go to the people in your life who do. Go to your local church or small group or women’s study and connect. Another great place to start is IF:Equip – (http://www.ifequip.com)- a daily online place to gather around the Word of God and see the response of others connecting to God and sharing your own comments and connection with Him.
So connect. Meet the G0d-sized need of the image of God in you and get your ABC’s.