Today I ran 3 miles. It went pretty well. I had a rough start because I just couldn't get myself to get out of bed. Finally I got up and made it out the door a little after 6:30. My problem is that I always try to get myself home by 7:00. I started with my stretching and then got to running. As I was running, I kept track of the time and realized that I was going to have to kick it into high gear in the last mile to get home by 7:00. My last mile I ran in 7 1/2 minutes and made it home with 15 seconds to spare. It was fun for this short run to try for speed. I think I am going to continue this with my short runs each week.
I did not run with the MP3 player because a) the run was pretty short and I don't need it to motivate me for such a short time and b) I wanted to spend the time thinking about what we discussed at our small group meeting last night. The topic came up about adding people into the group, which would then put our group to 14 people. That is far too many people to have in a community group. Melissa and I have talked at length about what happens when there are too many people in a group, less people can talk and you can't get to know everyone else on a really deeper level.
As Melissa and I were talking after our group meeting, Melissa pointed out just how much our group has been blessed over the past two years. We have grown quickly and have also had another group in our demographic start up that we have gotten to know. As we look around at church each week, we still see couples that are out on their own that could definitely be reached out to. We don't know if they are lonely, or if they have tons of friends and connections with people, but we do know that we don't know them and that should be a focus of community. We have gotten to a point where we are comfortable with our group and know each other, but at the same time, that comfort comes at a price. Other people are out there that are desperate for community and don't know where to turn. I think our group has the opportunity to help give many other people out there a chance at the community that we have been blessed with.
During my run I thought of Jesus' parable of the fig tree. I do not think of our group as a barren group that does not grow fruit, but I thought about how new growth can come about our group if we are willing to make big changes. In the parable, by taking apart the fig tree allowed it to produce fruit and flourish. I do believe that our group has a chance to flourish, but if we did make changes, we would be able to spread out even more to grow the community at our church even more. I don't know where we go from here or how to make these changes, but I do know that some changes will need to happen some day. We will see what happens. I guess I'll just keep praying and wait for that answer to come.