Tuesday, August 3, 2010

It Begins With Me

There are pages filled with quotes about change and where the starting point of change rests. One of my favorite change quotes is attributed to Gandhi, "Be the change you want to see." It is not very often that I spend a large amount of time talking about individuals. As human beings we are designed to be communal beings, therefore our lives are not measured by ourselves rather by our context of community. To change all that up today I would like to address the "Me" in all of us. It is no secret community is hard, and dysfunction is not hard to find in community. Anyone who has ventured into community has been hurt at some point by that community, or more specifically by an individual from that community. It is a reality of community which may be impossible to avoid because communities are made up of a bunch of individuals, and individuals have issues which get played out in community.

All that might or might not be understood. What is understood is the number of people who feel disconnected from life, God, others and themselves. As the disconnection grows the attempts to connect become greater and greater. We begin to seek community after community hoping this will be the one where things fell right. Only to find this community has the similar problems of the community before. Perhaps the problem is not them, its you and I. Despite the face many put forward, I find a large number of people who do not like the life they have and do not like the situations they find themselves in. The end result is people who really struggle to like themselves.

If we are going to fell like the pieces which make up our live are coming together, we will need to first come to terms with ourselves. I will be the first to share I am not always thrilled about the way God has designed my body, and I am not always thrilled with the places God has lead me. However, if I do not find peace about my life and situation, I will not find peace in the places and people around me. Connecting with God, and finding community begins with me. Sure I can blame my unhappiness with my life on all kinds of things. I can give a list of rationalizations about why my life is the way it is. Another option is to do the really hard work and look at myself. I can already hear some of you, well I cannot be myself because of so and so or this situation or that situation, that is just crap. We will never be satisfied with the things around us until we come to terms with ourselves. It is impossible to change anything but ourselves. Our circumstances in life may not change, the way we deal with them can. The people in our lives may not change, the way we deal with them can.

We have become a people who move from place to place, church to church, relationship to relationship looking for something which cannot be found externally. All of us must come to terms with the life we have. If there are things in our life that need to change, and we can change them, make that change. Often I find myself not living the life I know Christ sacrificed to give me. Just as often I begin to give rationalizations as to why and who is to blame. Reality, I need to get my stuff together. Then I will begin to find connection with God, family, communities and creation. Then I will begin to experience a wholeness I may have never known. It all begins with me.