Renee: We've been thinking about this whole idea of the invitation and what Christ invites us into. Sometimes we understand what that means, but most of the time, we don't understand the fullness of what that invitation is. He invites us into being a community and being in relationship with one another.
We find all kinds of games when we're younger to include or exclude people when you think about it, right? Playground games where no one tells us how to do it, but we find a way to invite someone in, exclude someone or even make a group ourselves. At a young age, everyone learns how to do Red Rover. Do you remember that? I think most kids know how to do Red Rover, Red Rover send Sally on over, right? But that whole idea of how we get invited into relationship and groups is an interesting one because at a very young age, even as we get invited in, we can feel both the foundation of being excited about belonging to something and also nervous that we could be the ones kicked out of the group. We know that that dynamic is always happening. There's both a benefit of groups, but also nervousness. When you belong to something, you also ask, "Am I going to get voted off the Island? Am I going to be the one whom they don't want to be hanging around with at recess? And we all have our experiences of that.
Don: I think it's kind of funny because in terms of what's satisfying and interesting, if something doesn't pique our interest, or isn't a little risky, then it starts to become boring and familiar. There's a part of us that wants to be safe, but there's also another part that wants to feel alive. We have both of them going on.
So we've created Disneyland, right? Going to Disneyland will guarantee your safety. Disneyland is, I think, this fake place that I want to be. I want to feel risky, extended, and alive, but I also want to feel safe. I want to go on the thrilling rides but then I want to get off to feel safe again. I think Disneyland works because it puts two things together that in the real world don't travel together: risk and safety. We tend to want Disneyland relationships: they're only safe because none of what we're experiencing is real.
Renee: The truth is if we don't have Christ as the backdrop to relationships, we don't have a reason to be motivated to stay in relationships. In order to develop relationships, you have to see things differently. You have to have a different perspective of people. If we don't have Christ as a way to look at community and relationship, I think it's pretty rough to be in a community or be any in any kind of group.
At some point, everyone understands that there is a risk to be with each other. There is a downside. It doesn't take very long for us to realize that there are places inside of us that are undeveloped. There are places that are undeveloped in other people, the sinful nature of people. You are up close and personal as you do life with people inside of groups. You may welcome the risk at first, but then safety becomes a priority pretty quickly in any kind of community or group because as you see one another, you start to wonder, is this worth it?
Don: Well, I think you can make some Disneyland kind of friendships and some Disneyland kind of groups to where it looks like you're all about it. But you're just posing for pictures, and you'll buy a little something, you know, a little souvenir of the event.
Renee: It's like that one time when we saw college students on the beach. This was at the very beginning when cameras were new on cell phones, and we didn't know what these college students were doing. They looked odd. As we sat on the beach, we're like, what are they doing?
They were all pretending to be a group, but they weren't a group. They would pose to take group pictures having fun and then go back to looking at their phones. If the image wasn't good enough, take two! Take 27! They just kept doing it. Then when they we