On a recent a traveling trip I sat next to a young lady who had given up. Even though her life had been deeply impacted years ago by a woman counselor, she now considered herself lost and coasting with no direction, no hope, and no joy. She did not know God but she was desperately searching for something that was missing.
As I listened to her story, I thought about how all of us need deep transformation in our own lives. Not only do we want the good stuff for ourselves, but the world around us is a dry and thirsty land where people are missing what they need. We have coworkers, friends and family members who, like this young lady, need something essential that is missing and they don’t know what it is.
One of the many reasons I am thrilled for the upcoming RARE Community conference in Kansas City is because of the material and the presenters who are going to share some of what has changed their lives including the RARE elements where people remain relational, act like themselves, return to joy and endure hardship. These ingredients must be learned and practiced within our joyful communities.
After listening to the young woman’s story, I shared my story. I told her how I too, was lost, but how I discovered the God who designed us for glad-to-be-together joy where the low-joy and high-joy among us come together. She listened attentively and nodded her head. At this point she recognized her counselor was a joyful presence in her life and she said, “I need more joy.” She then told me she had the dream of becoming a counselor one day, but she gave up because helping hurting people would hurt too much. I told her how, essentially, counseling is a ministry of joyful reconciliation where you train people to start joy in their lives and to return to joy from pain and distress, then I said, “And you don’t even have to be a counselor to do that!” At this point her eyes lit up. By the end of our discussion, she commented, “Maybe I will pursue my dream to become a counselor, but it’s clear I desperately need more joy in my life.” As our plane pulled into the gate I noticed a smile appear on her face.
RARE Community is coming up fast. I hope to see all of you in Kansas City where we pursue our dreams together of becoming RARE people anchored in RARE communities.