Thursday, May 15, 2008

Breathe deeply

What happened to the idea that life was not supposed to be lived alone? I'm not talking about being in some sort of relationship or anything as cliche as that. No, I'm merely talking about having people alongside you that "do life" with you. We have become so focused on "personal growth," and "personal development" that we forget that the healthiest part of life is lived alongside our friends, our family, and those others who remind us that there is more to the life that we live than the existence of our individual goals.

There's a huge push right now within certain Christian communities towards this whole thing called "community," but I would venture to say that few of us really understand what that is or what it looks like. To be honest, I don't know that there is any one thing that it should or does look like. Community is the thing that enables you to let your guard down. It's the safe place that means that no matter who you are, and no matter what you've done or where you've gone, you are accepted for who you are and loved for who you are becoming. Community is the place where you realize fully who you are, because society has stripped away your essence in its attempt to make you into the carbon copy of everything they think is acceptable. Community is the place of safety that compels change. Community is where true "personal development" and personal growth can happen. Community is where we were all intended to be.

If it's true that we were all intended to find a place of community, why is it so often that we run from it? Why do we eschew the very thing which will lead us closer to being who we actually are? Why do we continually seek to foster an environment of individuality, and why is our faith as guilty of it as anything else?

Why do we think that "personal" and "intimate" quiet times with God are the ways in which we will find true development? Why do we think that spending 30 minutes to an hour reading the bible alone and quietly reflecting on what we've read is the way to true spiritual fulfillment and growth? Why do we think we can do this alone? Jesus, in every trying time of his life surrounded himself with those that could build him up and support him. After his 40 day/40 night fast and temptation- the angels; at the Garden of Getshamene- the disciples (albeit sleeping); on the cross- mom, friends, and other family. If Jesus saw fit to surround himself with community, what makes us think we can handle this thing on our own.

So, what am I saying? Live life together. Enjoy each other's company. Argue and debate. love and be frustrated. Breathe in all the flavors, bitter and sweet that life has to offer and remember that the life we live is more than just not for ourselves, it's meant to not be by ourselves either.

Live. Laugh. Love.

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