The other week, while on my way to a three hour exam on Renaissance poetry, which I think should be classified as inhumane, I decided that instead of my commuting playlist, I would listen to worship songs, as my old sixth form group leader does every morning. Something about looking around at a gorgeous sunrise and listening to someone singing about where their hope is found gave me strength. I know it sounds cheesy but this does lead me onto what I think is a key element for anyone starting life as a Christian.
Attempt to find comfort in things you would normally find uncomfortable.
This I believe is paramount if one is to thrive in a Christian community. If we think about it, some of the things Christian’s do isn’t for everyone! Singing in a big group of people might make you want to run straight out of church, you might hate the wall hangings or maybe it’s the idea of being vulnerable and speaking honestly which makes you shiver. While these and many other things are so helpful and key, there are always going to be aspects of living and growing within a Christian community that make you a little uncomfortable.
We, as Christians, are part of a plan which spans thousands of years. We are adopted into a lineage of kings, empresses and conquerors, our very Father is the creator of the entire cosmos and it is beyond our human capacity to even understand his ways. It is a very serious thing, a pivotal, historical, overwhelming concept. And sometimes, we need to find a way to relate that magnificence to our everyday lives.
One way to try and start to do that is to try and take comfort even in the things that make you uncomfortable.
Sing Matt Redman songs with gusto even if you hate singing, open up and trust your Christian friends with personal things you would normally keep to yourself, do the actions to the children’s songs that you find cringey, tattoo a cross somewhere cute like your foot or wrist or neck or eyeball for that matter (tattoos are definitely not mandatory, though).
Whatever reminds you that you are part of a community that does things together, however uncomfortable they may make you, and you don’t have to face the weight of history by yourself.