I stepped away from this little space this past week because our family was on vacation. We weren't able to really get away as much as we had hoped, but were at least able to take a few little daytrips. Although it was quite a few days spent just the three of us, I couldn't stop thinking this past week about community.
First off, let me give a little backstory (it's related, I promise). I am by nature a Type A personality and a "worrier". My 2 biggest challenges are being more laid back about the details of life and not constantly living in the future. My level-headed, living-in-the-present husband is always teasing me about how I'll become completely stressed out about something that's so far in the future that he hasn't even thought of it yet, much less spent enough brain power to worry about it. But, I'm learning and trying daily to focus on the here and now - savoring this day without looking ahead to the next.
That being said, I've been thinking a lot about a revelation that I had this past week. There is always , something on my mind or in the back of my mind that I'm worrying about, trying to figure out, or that is just basically taking up a sustantial amount of my mental energy. And I often fall into the trap of focusing on this worry, obsession...this flaw in my life or my situation...and think that everyone else has it so much more together, has a life easier than mine.
But this week I've really been thinking about the fact that EVERYONE has something- some worry or thing in their lives that causes them stress or fear. Whether it's on the forefront of their thinking of just in the back of their mind, we all have one, or a few, (or sometimes many) worries in our lives. No one truly has it all together. No one has it easy - because that's the tension and balance of life. Things are never perfect, even if they appear to be in the lives of others. Everyone has needs that need to be met - it's a matter of figuring out in the lives of others in our community what those needs are and not being so distracted by our own. (so much easier said than done)
In Yes! Magazine (which my friend recently turned me onto, published out of Bainbridge Island) an artcle was written about the Inupiat native community on the artic slope in Alaska. They have an oral history and share stories about how thousands of years ago...
"Snow and ice taught us to be human and think beyond our individual selves. In our legends and our history, snow and ice made us better people and led ut to use our minds. Our stories tell us that we didn't become real human beings until we became communities, until the welfare of the whole became more important than the welfare of the individual."
Isn't that beautiful? How different might our communities, our economy, our environment, our churches, our friendships be if we thought beyond our individual selves and our myriads of worries, and looked out for the welfare of others... of our community, economy, environment, church, world as a whole?!