We are all connected to each other. Your life and my life are connected. With the web and social media, it’s more true now than every before, right? Something happens on the other side of the world and I may know about it in just minutes. But there’s a double edged sword, right? The more I see the things happening in the world, particularly suffering, the more I can be desensitized to it. The more those images just become disconnected images. How do I keep that from happening?
For me, it boils down to community. I have to have people around me, encouraging me and speaking truth to me. I love my online community and it serves a great purpose to keep me connected when life gets too hectic. Yet, I need flesh and blood people who can share their real needs and dreams and ideas too. Together we can impact the world near and far. Whether it’s my family, professional peers, friends, and/or my sisters in the faith, I need to be connected to people regularly. For me, this means making time for family gatherings, professional networking and connecting, lunch and dinners with friends, and regular worship and Bible study. There are so many benefits to being part of a community of people. Included among these is a longer and healthier life!
There was a time in my life when I was going through some especially difficult things. I told a friend that it felt like I was on a raft in the ocean drifting alone. She reminded me that I wasn’t alone and that when I’m connected to others in community there’s always support nearby. In addition, she reminded me that God is always near. “Doing life” together means that I’m never alone…truly I am not an island. Whether celebrating or suffering, both are better when done with others.
If you’re not part of a community, I encourage you to make every effort to get connected to others.