By Rusty George, Valencia Community Contributor
Community has become a word with a lot of different meanings. It can mean a town or a city, but it can also refer to a way of life or a reality that we live our lives within. The latter is what I focus on in my new book, Better Together. Santa Clarita is a wonderful community to live in. However, community is not just a place that you live, but it can also be something that you are a part of. As human beings, we all yearn for relationships. It is a natural part of life that we simply cannot live it alone. Yet, many of us despite our many relationships in life, still do not live within community.
The world we live in, especially in Southern California, is becoming more and more diverse. And through avenues of social media and other forms of technology, we’re becoming more connected than ever before. Yet, we still live in what I call a “selfie world.” We are still consumed with ourselves and despite having many different types of relationships in our life, we’re still lonely, depressed, insecure, and anxious. And listen, I’ve been there! One of the main reasons I decided to write the book was because I had recently found myself at a point of self-induced frustration and spiritual exhaustion. I tried everything, but it wasn’t until I had a conversation with a friend who had experienced the same thing that my funk had stopped. Simply having someone who knew and shared my pain snapped me out of it. Amazing how shared misery makes the misery easier, isn’t it?
I’m guessing you’ve had similar experiences in your own life, even as well connected or relational as you may be. We might be connected to one another, but are we committed to one another? In all the time and effort we put into ourselves, I think we are actually starting to lose ourselves and we need to start finding ways to really connect and commit to one another in better ways that go beyond the surface or the screen.
Better Together is designed to help you do just that – to find ways to connect, commit, and to be together, well, better! We may not like it, but we need other people. And being in community helps us to be better individuals, better friends, better parents or siblings, and also, closer to God. I hope that if you decide to pick up the book or come to Real Life Church during our series on it from now to March 11, that you’ll begin to see community is not optional, it is a God-given gift and a necessity in order to live a full and holistic life. No matter if you’re an introvert, extrovert, control freak, free spirit, a people pleaser, a curmudgeon, or what have you, you are sure to find something of value and I hope you’ll be enriched and encouraged by reading or listening.