Busyness and Loving Neighbor Well...

As I was reflecting about what has happened this summer,  I have realized that it has been quite the whirlwind! This summer has been jam packed with ministry opportunities, traveling, spiritual growth, and one huge milestone. The more and more I continue to delve into Bellflower as my home and my community, the more I see how connected to Bellflower I have become. I had the amazing opportunity to teach the college group at my home church in Bellflower for 7 weeks in a row. I was also an assistant youth pastor intern for another church in Bellflower. And most recently, I was privileged with the job opportunity to work for Good Soil Industries. If you are not familiar with Good Soil, it is a social enterprise, under the umbrella of Kingdom Causes, which seeks to help disadvantaged men get back on their feet and start working again. It is an amazing ministry that I am very honored to partake in. I have also been traveling quite a bit. I went to Minnesota for a week and Arizona twice. One huge milestone for me was that in Minnesota I got engaged! Lisa and I are both thrilled and feel so blessed with this amazing new journey we are going to embark on.

In light of all that has happened this summer, I want to take a moment to stop and consider an ideology that has been ingrained in our culture. I was reading an article this summer in the New York Times about “busy-ness” in America. The author, Tim Kreider, was suggesting that as Americans we typically use the excuse “I’m busy” out both sides of our mouths. Out the left side we use it to build ourselves up and implicitly proclaim, “I’m important!” And out the right we use it as a complaint, exclaiming, “I despise my busy lifestyle.” In the West we (when I say “we” I also mean “I”) have the tendency to fill our lives up with a lot of, well…stuff. One of the biggest things I am learning is that in order to be a good neighbor, I need to be available. But how can I be available if I am always busy? I do not want to live my life going from one thing to the next. I desire a life, which is able to slow down and enjoy the small things and the big things – to be an available presence to my neighborhood. 

-Kris Cohen, Community Fellow