How Much Would You Pay for Happiness?

Posted in christian thought, church reform, environment by Nathan Creitz on June 25, 2008

This morning I was in my car listening to an NPR story on the radio. The story was about high fuel costs from the perspective of “full-time” motor coach drivers. These are families that live out of their motor coaches and get anywhere from 7 to 9 miles per gallon, spending about $.50 per mile. One couple mentioned that they spend $600 on diesel every time they fill up. I didn’t catch names but the man mentioned that it’s the price you pay to have fun. When asked about why it was worth it, he began describing how when they go to motor coach rallies he can meet someone and within 15 minutes, they can be in someone else’s coach having drinks. “You can’t find that in a normal neighborhood,” he said. “There is a camaraderie that we have with other “full-timers” that you can’t reproduce anywhere else.”
So, if you want to live in a neighborhood that is hospitable, and neighborly, buy a $250,000 motor-home, spend $600 to fill it up with gas and drive to one of these motorhome rallies and spend a week or two there inviting people over for drinks or to play a game. Or, invite your neighbor over to your house or apartment. I’ve been in Boston for four years now and people come from so many different cultures that people barely know how to act around each other. Everyone lives in complete seclusion because, though their culture might be open and friendly, they might encounter someone who is from a culture that is cold and abrupt. However, that shouldn’t keep people from reaching out to other people. 
The Church should be especially instrumental in showing hospitality and building relationships that last. It’s a mandate, not to be salesmen of the Gospel, but to be relational because of the Gospel. It’s one of the ways in which we have been made in the image of God. We are called to love and serve God and people and it is important that we show love even when the culture around us doesn’t know if it should even make eye contact with another human being as they walk down the street. We need to lift our heads and spend time praying for community in our “communities”. You don’t even need a huge budget to build relationships. It doesn’t cost anything to make a friend. It takes a smile, a conversation, and maybe a tray of brownies. Okay, so it might cost something, but $3 for brownies is nothing compared to $600 for gas. 

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