August 26, 2011


I've been thinking a lot lately about commitment....
What is that was commit
  • in religious life, 
  • in a local community, 
  • in a faith community?
I think there is a certain dance that I/we do when we make a commitment to a community.
On the one hand, each of us needs to be free enough to be who we are and to be the best of who we are and who God calls us to be. That's how we manage to bring the best of who we are to the group. And it's really up to me to be that 'best'. So no group-think, mob mentality.
On the other hand, the commitment I make is serious too. It is my gift to the group to agree to live together, work together to build up the good of the whole group, community, etc. It is my gift to the group to yield some of our freedom in order that there can be a life of the group. And then we each get back a place and space where we can live and grow together. I can rely on my community just like they can rely on me. We'll all give something so that we all can reap the benefit.
I think that this has to be negotiated - how committed am I and what do I need from the group and what can I give to the group. In my experience, when it gets down to people feeling they 'give, give, give' and aren't getting what they need, there is a big problem. When community is going well, I've generally felt like I receive, receive, receive.... and I want to do my part to give back.
Especially as we talk about moving into an emerging future, I think it's important that we know what we have to offer, and what risks we are taking. It's also important to know what commitments we are making to each other so that we can live into a unity that appreciates its richness and diversity.

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