Friday, July 25, 2008

Breaking Self-sufficiency

In talking about building up the community we often focus on serving others - with good reason because I think for most people our default response if we are left to our own devices is to ask "What's in it for me?". Of course Jesus modelled perfectly the servant lifestyle of looking out for others and serving their needs. I have found though that the other side of the coin is something that's overlooked. Some of us (me) want to think we've got it together and it can be hard to be vulnerable and say look I need some help, to let others serve us, even in the most simple way. Community is formed through mutual service to each other and we build one another up by serving and letting others serve us. I've found that when I ask someone if they can do something for me it humbles me but it also shows trust in the other person and their abilities.

I read "riding the bus with my sister" by Rachel Simon earlier this month. I'd highly recommend it. It's the author's true story of how she spent a year riding buses with intellectually disabled sister Beth. Rachel was concentrated on the "successful life", building a career and that was her life. In her year riding the buses, seeing a different side of life and talking to the bus drivers and her sister she came to see how empty her life was. One thing that caught my attention was the conversations with the bus drivers. These are people often overlooked and they had lots of wisdom to share. In thinking about self-sufficiency I don't ever want to get to the place where I think I can't learn from another person. The challenge is to take the time to stop and listen to people, to their stories and experiences. I often want to get in and offer my opinion, or story instead of just really listening. To watch them and learn from their life.

I was reading Prov 10 the other night and this is what I wrote in my journal:

"I talk too much"

That's pretty straightforward. I'm trusting God to help me learn to accept both wisdom and service from whoever they come.
Edited to add at 12:27PM: Checking my feeds I came across this post Learning From The Little: Who does Jesus Want You to See?.

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