Saturday, August 2, 2008

living in authentic community

So, I'm "suffering" the results of drinking a half a pot of coffee after 8pm. When you don't usually have any caffeine after that time . . . that much coffee can really get you going. My roommates all seem to be going to bed, but I still have too much caffeine in me to even think of sleeping right now. Of course, this all means I will sleep in really late when I do finally go to bed . . . good thing I don't have to be anywhere tomorrow before 6pm. ;)

Anyways, being up and awake has got me started on thinking about something. It seems like God has been teaching me a lot about community and how it should look in the last year. (For previous posts on the topic of community click here or here). I've been thinking about it more tonight, just as I've been reflecting on some things that have happened in my life lately.

I've been realizing that if we completely isolate ourselves from others then when something happens we are often left alone to deal with it on our own. Whereas, when we are living in authentic community with others we have those people that we can call on - whether it's something big or something little. And, I think that is how life is supposed to be lived. We weren't made to go through it on our own.

I've also been thinking a bit about how we typically respond when people call us to help or to care when things go sideways for them. Honestly, I sometimes want to give any excuse in the book not to help. But I'm beginning to realize that it's when I drop the excuses and step out in whatever way that person needs that God shows up in some pretty cool ways. The more I do that, the more I want to do it. But, at the same time I'm always somewhat concerned about how far God will push me in doing those things that I maybe don't want to do, but know that I should be doing to help out those I love and care about - whether friends or family.

I honesty think that one of the major keys to authentic community is that willingness to just be there when someone call. The willingness to put aside your own plans and concerns and be there for the other person - whether it be by listening on the phone, heading over to be with them, or offering help in a practical way. That is the kind of authentic community we are called to live in. And then more that we do that, the more I think we will see God show up in amazing ways.

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