Saturday, August 1, 2015

Thinking About Community (1)

I like the idea of building community, but in the sense of building community with neighbors, friends, co-workers, fellow worshipers, not in the more political sense that the phrase is used. I am not opposed to that at all, but it is not my forte and it doesn't interest me in the way that building community with others does.

Given that I am walking more now in an effort to build back strength before I get back into rowing again, it has been interesting to observe people. Clearly some people want to be left alone and will deliberately cross the street or pathway in an effort to avoid someone coming towards them. In one place I walk, I've noticed that almost always, only about fifty percent of people will acknowledge the presence of another person on the path. In neighborhoods, it is generally higher.

I've been wondering if our use of the internet has influenced how we interact in person. I know there are many internet communities -- but it isn't the same as interacting in person. It also is better I think than not interacting at all. But we need balance. I used to work on a college campus and the last few years I worked there it was interesting to watch how students would text and talk on their cellphones while walking to class, but would essentially ignore anyone meeting them on the walkways. In fact, the campus started a campaign to encourage everyone to greet one another.

I think we have to be careful not to lose our abilities to interact well and be able to read and interpret the gestures and facial expressions of other human beings. Building community requires being able to congregate and enjoy one another in person, and to be able to effectively communicate face to face (and not just on Facetime). When the chips are down....a terrible storm, a sudden illness or when things are great......or anywhere in the middle - we do need one another. We function much better in community, at least most of the time. I wonder if maybe we need to pay more attention to how we do this.

Friday, July 31, 2015

The Pneumonia Experience

Of course the question is why? Clearly I must be doing something wrong, in terms of how I'm approaching life, as I seem to find myself in situations where I am questioning my purpose and wondering what the wildgoathair I am supposed to be doing. Twice in about five years now, I've had plenty of time to think about these things. The first was the heart drama, when I died twice and wasn't really supposed to recover, but did so. And then at the beginning of the summer, the pneumonia. Never ever been that sick before. Oh MY. There was a point in the early days when I questioned if I had the strength to even try to get better. Coughed so much. Coughed so hard I feared I would bust a blood vessel. Felt AWFUL. Get your pneumonia shot if you are eligible. OH my goodness.

So I come back to the original question that haunts me during these times. It seems almost that I am clearly not picking up on any signals that God/Holy Spirit/ might be sending me and so then I find myself in a position where I might be able to listen better. (As when I'm sick in bed and too sick to read, watch television, focus on much of anything). I wish the signals were a bit clearer.

Only thing I hear from people is to take better care of myself. People do say that pretty frequently. I truly think most of us could benefit from that, although some do seem to make an impressive career of self-care.

Hmm. Do we ever really know our purpose? Do we stumble upon it quite by accident? Are there people who know from the age of five just exactly what they are meant to do? Are there others who reach the end of life and are still clueless? I am/will be probably in that category unless I get some clear indication soon.