Sunday, March 25, 2007

Living With Freaks

I stole this post title from Donald Miller, author of Blue Like Jazz. In the later chapters of his book he explores what it means to live alone, and what it means to live in community. For a major part of his early adulthood, Miller lived alone.

I remember what it is like to spend a lot of time alone. While I have never lived absolutely alone as an adult, I have lived virtually alone. By that I mean that I have always had a roommate, but I was pretty used to living fairly independently. I could listen to music when I wanted, and what I wanted. I could read what and when I wanted. I could leave the house and return when I wanted. I basically could do my own thing if that was what I chose. Life was quiet. The house was still and quiet. I have been blessed to have had roommates who were good friends too, and life was organized, and I was free.

Lately, I've been struggling with this whole framily thing.

"I am energized in alone time."

I am somewhat introverted which means that being around people drains me. I am NOT the life of the party! I am energized in alone time. When I get to sit and do what I want to do, I feel good. I feel alive. I feel energized. Alone time is VERY rare for me anymore. Katie seems to always be at home. When I work, and I am home in the evening, so are her kids. There is always activity going on around me.

At work, people are constantly demanding my attention. Customers, employees...they need me to serve them, and to problem solve and whatever else. I love my job and I do it well, but it is draining, so when I come home I look for some quiet and rest. This is something difficult to find when one has a framily. It seems people at home also need me to serve them, to problem solve, and whatever else.

This circumstance has really been weighing me down lately. At times I find myself wishing things were different and that I lived alone. I become so easily annoyed and Prepare to be annoyedirritated. I have a bad attitude and treat the people around me very poorly by not listening to what they are sharing with me, and by being verbally condescending. My speech has not been filled with words of encouragement lately, but a lot of the opposite. My behavior at times is shameful. I am not being the person God created me to be.

I've already shared most of this with Katie and worked some of this stuff out, but basically, I know that I have been selfish. I want everyone to alter their lives to accomodate me. That is the extreme opposite of having the mind of Christ!

Well, while reading Blue Like Jazz, a couple of things have jumped off the page at me and the Holy Spirit has been using this book to convict me of some of my bad attitude. One thing that really spoke to my heart was in the chapter titled "Alone". Miller shares a bit of wisdom with the reader, that his friend Rick taught him about living in community. He learned:
"I should have people around me bugging me and getting under my skin because without people I could not grow --- I could not grow in God, and I could not grow as a human."
He's right. God created us as relational beings and to choose a life lived alone goes against God's intentions. I have a framily! Even though my framily drives me crazy at times, it is a better crazy than the crazy of being alone!

In the following chapter, Miller shares some situations that he had while living in community, or while living with freaks. He shares stories of annoyances that roommates endure and how they helped him to grow in God, and grow as a human. I'm thankful that he wrote this book because it has helped me understand that I won't, errrrr can't grow in God, or as a human, outside of my framily, or outside of the community of believers in the church.

I am now able to see the annoyances and irritations of living in a framily as a good thing, a growth thing. I'm not saying that I now enjoy the irritations, but that I no longer am in want of the "greener grass on the other side". "Living with freaks" is a good thing!

No comments:

Post a Comment