The anti-narcissistic medicine of community

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We’re prone to thinking we have the toughest life, the most stressful schedule. That nobody understands how much we have to deal with. That nobody is as busy as we are.

photo credit: creation swap user Sharolyn Newington

Nobody gets us.

Nobody really understands.

And we can’t really imagine how life could get busier for you.

And if you think this is just as adults, you’re wrong.

Life in College

When I was in college, I remember feeling incredibly busy. I averaged 21 hours of classes each semester. I also played on the golf team. Most days, I’d go to class from 8-2, then play golf until it was dark. Then I’d either go to my room to study, go to the local collegiate ministry house, or both. I was busy. I felt like life couldn’t get any crazier. I needed others to speak into my life and say, My life is crazier, and God is still sustaining. I’ll walk with you. The reality was that life would get much busier and more difficult. 

Life in Grad School

The same pattern happened in graduate school. I took a full load of classes and I worked at least one job throughout my time there. I was also married. I’d go to class most days from 8-12, then work from 3-midnight. After that, my wife and I would often head out to the store. Sometimes it was for grocery shopping, other times it was just to get out of the house. Because she was also in grad school and working. Different from college, now I was carrying more weight personally, and felt the burden my wife was experiencing too…that’s just how married life works. We carry each other’s burdens. I needed others to speak into my life and say, My life is crazier, and God is still sustaining. I’ll walk with you. The reality was that life would get much busier and more difficult.

Life after Grad School

The same pattern happened post-graduate school. I’m now working full time, working on side projects, opening a small business, maintaing my house, leading a small group, and raising a son. And I thought that life was busy in college! Life has never been busier. Now, more than ever, I’ve needed others to speak into my life and say, “My life is crazier, and God is still sustaining. I’ll walk with you. The reality, based on the pattern I’ve seen, is that life will get much busier and more difficult. It’s not going to slow down.

Our need for community

We need other people in our lives. We need people who remind us that this stage in life will be over. People that remind us that the next stage is full of awesomeness. People that have been where we are, and can honestly tell us that they love us and that it’s going to be okay.

My life is crazier, and God is still sustaining. I’ll walk with you.

We desperately need community.

Question:

Do you feel like you’re busy right now? 

* photo credit: creation swap user Sharolyn Newington

 

Christ follower, husband, father, writer, small groups pastor at Saddleback Community Church. Communications director for the Small Group Network.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • http://twitter.com/ServingStrong Scott Couchenour

    Beautiful post, Ben. Absolutely right on!  If it weren’t for other people, I’d be a crying mess.

    I’m looking in 2 directions at once: I’m looking at the people who are speaking into my life and mentoring me. And I’m looking at the people who God has asked me to speak into their lives and mentor them. If one of those 2 are not happening, I’m wasting my time.

  • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

    This couldnt have helped me more… I am currently taking college classes and I am stressed. Medical school demands so much. I am stressed about a bio Class right now because I am borderline between a B and a C. I started the semester in this class great, but there were some tests that brought me down from my A. Finals are starting next week… I am studying like crazy!

  • http://jonstolpe.wordpress.com Jon Stolpe

    Yes, I definitely feel busy these days.  Keeping up with work, church, and my family with my wife, two middle schoolers, and a dog can be challenging.