There has been an on going theme over the last couple of months that has everything to do with community. As my pastor just preached at the midweek service we can’t be a me without the we. We are meant to be in community with others. This spoke volumes when I decided that it was easier to figure things out on my own. I had gotten to a point in which I felt I could do things not necessarily better, in a way I felt they should get done if I just did them myself. This is a very selfish way of looking at life, but I was there. I was tired of trusting other people, I was tired of feeling like I would have to explain myself, and I was tired of not being heard. So I gathered myself up into my own little world and chose to reach out only when it was the last thing I could do.
Instead of doing better, I got more cynical, and tired of how life was going. It was a lonely place to be. I could be surrounded by people but feel like the only one in the room. 1 Corinthians 12:12-26 talks about us all being one body, and with that we each have specific jobs we do. Just as an eye doesn’t say “because I am not an ear, I don’t belong to the body” we all were made for a reason. We were and are made to be in community with each other. This goes for our home life, our work life and even our spiritual life. We were not made to do this life alone. It’s when we try and do it alone that we fail and faulter in what we do.
A very wise friend of mine convicted me the other day. She had noticed that I was going down the path of “my way or the highway” and she loved me enough to bring it to my attention. She didn’t do it to make me feel guilty but more for me to step back and re-evaluate my path. Because she took the time, and care enough I realized that I was not a very nice person to be around. My co-workers were feeling it, my family had to hear me complain and vent more than I had before, and I was not feeling the joy that usually brought me peace and contentment. I admit there was and is still some guilt from how my attitude played out on the people around me, but the only thing I can do for that is to ask for forgiveness and work to stay away from that path in the future. What brought me there in the first place was pride. I was going to do life my way, and I proceeded to shut my community out.
Community can be one person, or many. It’s a place to be held accountable, but also a place to feel safe. It’s a place to lift each other up and support each other. Not one of us is better than someone else. When we realize this and move to support each other rather than tear down, even in difficulties we can work like a well oiled machine. As I write this I know there are people I need to reach out to. If I am to use the faith I have I know that I need to act and not just speak love and joy. It’s an amazing thing, when people put aside their differences and come together.
As I think about the last few days, it’s crazy to think that had I just reached out instead of saying I was too busy, I would have known that a friend was contemplating a new life choice, that another friend had a scary health issue come up again, that a family member just wasn’t feeling her best because of stress. More often than not we are bombarded with self care posts, and ads and articles. There is a time and place for self care, don’t get me wrong, but usually you will find that strength comes in knowing your community is there for you and you are there for them. With strength comes joy, and so as I write this I have been invited to a game night with some gals from church and my girls want to come with me. I have texted a friend to invite her out to dinner. I have a prayer list for those near and dear that have concerns laying on their hearts. This is community, this is self care, just as much as doing the solitary activity can bring joy so can being active in the lives around you. Until next time:
Surround yourself with relentless humans. People who plan in decades, but live in moments. Train like savages, but create like artists. Obsess in work, relax in life. People who know this is finite, and choose to play infinite games. Find people going up mountains. Climb togetherZach Pogrob
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Rae’s New Shine Children’s Book
One day Rae woke up and felt different. When she looked at the people around her they seemed to “shine brighter” than she did. When she finally prayed about it and asked her mom for help, she realized she didn’t know her own worth. She didn’t believe in herself and felt dim compared to others. Once she started to see she was talented and worthy her shine came back.