Our lives are a jumble of disconnected worlds. We have our relationships and tasks at work, at home, at our kids' schools, with our extended families, in our neighborhoods, at our churches, and in all of our other activities. And like tectonic plates drifting further apart, our ever-increasing pace of life and tools for commuting are making the problem worse. The result is countless relationships, none of which are permitted the duration of frequency or time living together to produce the significant depth our hearts crave.
In commenting on healing the fragmentation of the modern lifestyle, Randy Frazee writes, "The solution does not lie simply in recommending a more meaningful activity while trying to preserve all the other worlds now in motion. If a true and workable solution is to emerge, it must involve a radical restructuring of our lifestyle. At the core of this restructuring is a new operating principle for living: In order to extract a deeper sense of belonging, we must consolidate our worlds into one." (Randy Frazee. The Connecting Church. 34)
It's a challenge to consolidate our worlds. Later, Frazee suggests doing this around the most natural uniter and divider: physical location. Proximity promotes overlap. If I shop, get gas, send my kids to school, work, attend church all within a few miles of my home, then I am more likely to see the same people in multiple spheres of living! Integration begins to occur. It's time to hang up the commuter lifestyle and begin focusing on proximity as a natural, community starter. For some that means moving closer to work, changing churches, or even adjusting careers. It will mean sacrifice, for all of us, but what we gain is well worth the cost.