09 PeopleThe thrill of gathering with old friends and making new ones around the spectacle of a live concert with a favorite musical artist is hard to beat. Whether the music  is locally, nationally or internationally popular, there's something about those events that level the ground for us socially. The music doesn't care if you pulled up in a new sports car or spent your last dime on a ticket. It's just there to please.

By the time you read this, we've missed more than a dozen opportunities to hang out together at local venues for an evening, afternoon or weekend of some ground-leveling. But, soon that will all end. And when it does, we need to remember how much we longed for time together during the isolation chamber known
as COVID-19.

I can hardly wait to walk the concourse in search of party food and artist memorabilia or stroll the aisles of artisan vendor booths at a local festival while greeting unmasked acquaintances. I genuinely miss freely gathering with people, and it only took a few weeks of semi-forced isolation to send me into a social tailspin.

The truth is, we're made for relationship — built that way from the origin of humans. Way back near the front of the Bible, God says, “...it's not good for man to be alone.” And, it's not. We can see that more clearly now than perhaps ever before — unless you were a space station astronaut or something, in which case you already knew.

So my question for you today is this: What will you take away from this COVID-19 thing? Will you be more thoughtful in accepting and following through when invited to local gatherings? Will you celebrate extended family birthdays and reunions with new vigor? Will you still choose church online on a busy Sunday, or will you carve out the time be with people you love being with?

It's easy to stay in the same lazy habits of avoidance when gathering freely is possible, but I hope after a period of standing six feet apart in line at the grocery store and returning home because there's nowhere else to go will help us return to the truth that we are built for relationship.

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