being humble in community

It seems like every where I turn someone is having a discussion about the importance of community. Being a full on extrovert, I've always known exactly how important human connection is to my happiness/sanity. I love to spend time with others, talking and sharing with them. But lately I'm learning that community is something more than that. It goes below the surface, it challenges the desire to hold certain things back. Community requires transparency. That's where I thought it ended. I thought when I reached the point where I was willing to be vulnerable with someone, then we were in "true community". But, again, I'm learning that it's something even more. Beyond sharing my deepest secrets, community requires me to be humble. 

It's easy to spend time with people. It's even easy to sit around the dinner table and talk about the hard things that life throws at us. What's hard is when we get up from the table and go our separate ways. Where community comes in is the next day. Maybe I've had a long day with Lana and want to just binge watch Parks & Rec. But I know that a friend had an especially stressful day at work and would really appreciate talking it through with someone. What do I do? Is my exhaustion more important? Are my desires the ones that really matter? No. Caring about others, being in community with them, means putting their well being before my own. I don't need to watch an hour of TV. I need to love my friend well.

Loving someone else well is really hard when I'm the only thing on my mind. It's so easy to get caught up in my to do list or whatever is stressing me out at the moment. It's easy to be absorbed with my own tiny life. But in the grand scheme things, my life is just that--tiny. It seems so big and all important to me right now, but a little bit of humility would give me the right perspective. What's happening in my life at this moment is a part of my story, but it is not the most important part. And just a step further is the truth that my story is just a small portion of a much bigger one. Humility tells me that there are hugely important things going on beyond my little world. And community compels me to reach out and join together with those things. 

That's the sweet spot. Where humility and community intersect. That's the point where we can not just love others, but live that out even in the moments where it conflicts with our desires. And that, loving others well, is really the point, isn't it? 

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