While in college and for a few years after graduating, I lived with five of my best friends. We lived in a variety of dorm rooms, apartments, and houses. Initially, by deciding to live together, we thought we were signing up for a party. And at first, it was a party! We had people over to watch football on Sundays, had board game nights, threw celebrations, and in general cultivated a fun-loving and fulfilling community. And then our first big fight broke out over the mountain of dishes that weren’t done. Next, we squared off over the piles of undone laundry around the house. Afterward, there was a blow-up over the lack of “quiet hours” for those who needed to get up early for class or work the next morning. How could this be?! We were best friends! Who fights endlessly with their best friends?

The party we thought we’d signed up for turned into a nightmare of our own doing. The people we thought we were turned out to only be the tip of the iceberg. We had a whole host of irresponsible habits, inconsiderate practices, and immature mindsets to work through. The work that we had resisted while in childhood now became everyone else’s problem to navigate.

When this became apparent to each of us, we initially despaired! Plans to move out, go our separate ways, or renegotiate our leases began to surface in each of our minds. And yet, we realized even if we were to move on or out of each others’ lives we would always have to work through the issues rising in each of us. Paul admonishes the Philippians in 1:28, “striving together as one for the faith of the gospel.” To a community beset on every side with the looming prospect of persecution and likewise threatened from within by warring egos and divisions, Paul exhorts them to strive together. This suggests an ongoing, ever-present struggle, both with one another and with the futility of life. In this life, there will never be an end to the issues we face, the struggles we have with one another, and the evils that seek to undermine the work God would do through us.

May we admit we’re never anything but beginners, and commit to strive together, as imperfectly as we presently are, toward that which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Ryan Lunde
Young Adults

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