This past weekend, my wife and I went up to the mountains outside of San Diego to spend some time with friends away from the city. We pulled up to our cabin at the summit of Mount Laguna and unloaded our food, bikes, and gear into the wood-paneled living room. Our bedroom was barely big enough to fit our double bed, and the walls were thinner than rice paper, but none of it mattered. We were excited to get away from the hustle.

Now as you can imagine, our idea of vacation included a grueling bike ride which took up most of Saturday followed by food and cold beer. The riding was some of the very best I have experienced with vistas that opened up to the ocean and the desert from 6,000 feet. On Sunday, we hiked down a huge canyon to a cluster of waterfalls where we splashed around in the cold mountain water. It was an amazing weekend.

I thought a lot over the weekend about the things that make our lives have meaning. Once again, I am drawn to the word ‘community’. Following up on last week’s post about staying connected, I started to think about how much fun the weekend was, and how that enjoyment came from spending that time with a group of friends. We had different perspectives painting an even more vivid picture of our surroundings. Laughter grew through the paper-thin walls of our cabin like a contagious virus. Community.

While this weekend was beautiful, the people I shared the weekend with didn’t know the source of this beauty. I often wonder why I struggle to connect with other believers. I think I am scared of being accountable or having them look at me strange if I have a beer or two.  Sometimes I think I just tend to gravitate towards people who make it easy to live life on my own terms.

We are called to be in community, not because it is a religious duty, but because God designed us that way. Last weekend was a great example of this. We were created to experience life with others, and to get through this life thing together. It is more beautiful that way. If secular relationships can bring that much joy, just think how much more joy Christian relationships can bring. Christian community is more than church. It is composed of small groups, fellowship with believers, and allowing those close to us to challenge us to grow stronger in our faith. I am seriously trying to work on this piece. I know it will make those mountain top views all the more special.