Community trailblazing.

I’m on a search for community. Actually, I think I’m looking for a specific community, but I’m not sure exactly what it looks like yet. I just know I haven’t found it… yet.

I’m social and introverted. Let’s all remind ourselves what that means: I love people, but I don’t get energy out of every encounter with people. Group events wear me out. I like to do my laundry on Friday nights and spend a couple hours a day in solitude. It’s not lonely, I don’t hate people, and I do like to interact with people… one-on-one.

So, as an introvert, I’m trying to choose carefully the times that I spend with people. I have to be intentional about what I spend my social juice on. It’s better for everyone if I interact with others while on at least a 50% full battery than trying to fake it on empty. That’s just real, folks. I can function as an extrovert for a short period of time (like on two-week group mission trips where there’s a good reason to pretend to be an extrovert and a time limit), but I have to come back to my introverted lifestyle afterwards.

It sounds selfish. It sounds snotty. It sounds like I don’t think people are worth my time. But they so are. They SO are.

I’ve had a hard time finding a place to spend my large group time, not because I don’t fit but because it’s just not exactly what I’m looking for. I’ve been trying to find a spiritual group on my campus that fits at least on most levels but have not yet been successful.

I talked to Jesus about this because it seemed like a good idea. I sort of complained. I told him that what was already here didn’t fit what I was looking for, and the group that I had thought I’d like to join had an uncertain future. I told him that I was frustrated with this thing.

Then I started feeling slightly chided. I’m not a fan of chiding, even when it’s holy. But I got this impression that Jesus isn’t going to let me complain about not having my ideal spiritual community if I’m unwilling to contribute. Ouch. That hits so close to home, like right in the living room. If I’m unwilling to do anything to change the way that things go, I can’t say that I was dissatisfied.

I think God’s trying to make me into some kind of trailblazer.


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