Monday, September 22, 2008

Community Life

Here's something I've discovered about myself over the years... the more I think I am able to do something on my own, by my own power and by my own strength, the less I am able to achieve.

I was listening to one of Pastor Pete's sermons where he talked about the fact that God never expected us to do things on our own in this life. That's why He gave us the greatest commandment to love one another... not a command to love and rely solely on ourselves. God believed in community living, and as an example of that He created a community in and of Himself. He is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit because one being in and of itself is not enough to produce real life, total thought and complete love.

That thought right there is such a relief to me... understanding that it's not about me creating my best life... it's about me living the best life God needs me to for a community of people.

I think there are so many people in this world trying to help me keep the focus on myself. Almost any book I read about self-improvement talks about the power I have within me to be my best self. I can't tell you how many times I've heard guests on Oprah or other talk shows discuss how I am the source of my own happiness. How I can find within myself and my own mind the power that allows me to be happy and wealthy and healthy and fulfilled.

And, in my own life, I think it's the opposite.

I'm not saying we shouldn't believe in ourselves and do our very best and choose happiness. I'm saying I don't know how to do that without first knowing that it's not about me. It's not even about me living my life and relying on God to help me through. Because that would mean I was driving and God was giving me moral support. I am saying that my life only works if God is at the wheel, if He's reading the map and if He's making the turns. 

I have to make the choice to get in the car. I choose to be joyful and put my whole self into the journey, and I choose to love the destinations He brings me to. I choose my attitude, but the driving is all up to Him.

There are times I get tired. There are times I get annoyed with His choice of scenery and traveling music. There are times I don't enjoy the companions He picks up and places in the car with us. But when I stop and realize it's not all about me, I start to notice that the companion may just need a friendly ear to listen to them or a word of encouragement to change their attitude. The choice of music may contain a message I or others in the car need to hear. And when I focus on the community I'm traveling with instead of my own weariness, life just doesn't seem to weigh me down as much anymore.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that if God himself requires a community of three within His one being, maybe we shouldn't try so hard to do it all in our individual selves either. I personally am going to continue to pray that when I start thinking I can take the wheel and control my destinations, God reminds me it's a community effort and nudges me back to the passenger seat. 

I find the view to be much better from there.


  1. Great post.
    I have a chronic illness as well, so I can definitely relate.
    One of my goals is to not spend too much time thinking about myself, which is hard when you´re in a lot of pain, but I truly want God and other people to be my focus.

  2. Very insightful, girl. :) I am glad Pete's sermon got you thinking. He is always good for that, isn't he? Thanks for always leaving such sweet comments on my blog!

  3. Great post, it's so funny that sounds almost just like the message from a service I attended last week. I always feel better after a nice message like that. It's comforting to know we have a BIG God!

  4. I have never thought about this concept before. I think you're right though. Thanks for that!!!

  5. That is a great blog Sara! I have heard this concept from our own pastor and I love to hear it! It makes me feel so loved to know that God has me in his hands. If it were left up to me I would surly blow it! So I am glad He is in the drivers seat! But I have to remind myself to allow Him to sit there!

  6. What a wonderful post - so much for me to think about! Hope you had a great day!

  7. Great Reflection, Sara! I'm reading "The Shack" right now and the message is exactly the same. Our biggest challenge is letting God be God of our life and we actively involve ourselves along with others to bring about the Way God intends for us. Thanks for your sharing.

  8. Thanks for this, Sara. We really do need eachother!

    God bless you.

  9. Hi, I've been lurking on your blog for a little while. My Dad also has Ankylosing Spondylitis and it's been so interesting to read about your life and journey with such a terrible disease. I'm praying for you from Missouri.