"Most people are enduring a marginalized isolation. One of the great obstacles to modern friendships is the 'religion of rush.' People are rushing all the time through time. Friendship takes time." - John O'Donohue
There seems to be one thing that keeps coming mind as I think about Vessel Church launching later this fall. One theme keeps emerging as I pray. One vision keeps forming as I wonder how this body of believers might exude something different to the people and community of Rogers County. It is relationship.
In a time when it seems everyone is at battle with one another over politics, race, and religion, there seems to be a real need for tolerance, and tolerance only comes from understanding someone or something different from yourself, even when, no, especially when you're not in agreement. Understanding takes time, and over time spent with one other, relationships naturally form. People are missing relationships, and it's most likely because it just takes too much time.
C.S. Lewis wrote, "Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival." So, because of our self-imposed "religion of rush," we are foregoing true, deep relationships, slowly chipping away at any value given to living out our days.
As The Vessel prepares to launch, let us not practice the "religion of rush" with those we meet nor with each other. Let us put at the bow the idea of relationships, getting to know those who come through the doors, and getting to know even better those people we already recognize. Let us put at the stern constant reminders to slow down and take the time to provide a venue for friendships to form. If we, as Disciples of Jesus Christ, are to live out the commandment that He gave in John 15:12-15, to "..love one another as I have loved you," it's time to take the time.