Belonging By Association

I attended my first PTO meeting tonight. As I walked into the meeting after it had started, I was relieved to find an open seat next to the friend from church who had asked me to attend. The school owned several carnival games that would work well for a fall festival we were working together to organize but, the thought of asking to borrow these games made me nervous. I was not active in the PTO. In fact, I had never been to a meeting before and had declined helping with past PTO events because of family and church priorities.

Thankfully, I had a friend who was very involved in the organization. As I listened to her update members on projects she was leading, I felt proud to be sitting beside her. It was like I belonged at that meeting, not because of anything I had done, but because of who I knew.

This thought reminded me of another time I felt a similar sense of belonging. I was at the cataclysmic end of an awful business trip where nothing, not even the flight home, had gone my way. At my lowest moment, I cried out in frustration because I knew that, no matter how hard I tried, I would never get through life without help from others. At that moment, an inner voice broke through the silence to say that I mattered, not because of what I did, but because of who I was—a child of God.

We all have the opportunity to share this sense of belonging with others as we love family, friends, and even total strangers—not because of what they do for us—but because of who they are, people who matter to God. How wonderful that all roads, even those that pass through PTO meetings, lead back to God.


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