I’m not sure when I noticed how I would lock up, when I lost that child like instinct of community free of judgements and self conscious thoughts. Watching children engage with each other, and even adults, reveals how people could act without the societal conditioning that simply comes from living. Children don’t think of the proper thing to say or do, they just say and do what they want. They don’t think of the effects of what they say or do, of how people will think of them or what they do will say about them, they just do it. They’re not thinking about themselves in the way so many of us do in community.
Now I know they’re selfish in a different way, thinking about their wants or not thinking of how their actions and words could hurt others, but just think of that image of childlike community for a minute. How different would communities, both religious and secular, look if people were to stop thinking of themselves? Of course this sounds elementary, silly even, for a couple reasons. For one thing asking non-religious people to do anything that doesn’t benefit them directly doesn’t make sense. Not in a negative way, they just don’t have any reason to. And for religious (referring to Christianity) something like this seems obvious. Of course Christians should be thinking of others, but the problem is that we don’t. We engage in relationships by thinking of how another person thinks of us, what we should say or do to make a person think of us a certain way; we think of others only by associating them to something about us. We can’t get out of our own heads, our own character bubble (who we think we are), to get to deep heart ties and hard community. We’re stuck in superficial surface relationships based on similar styles and music tastes.
(Clearly I’m mostly talking about me here.)
I’ve so often equated how I freeze up around others to shyness or insecurity (If you know me well, you KNOW I’m not shy), but more often then not I’m simply stuck thinking of how the other person will think of me if I say/do the next thing. I’m more worried about how I’m building the person I want people to think I am rather than being present with the beautiful person in front of me. So I can’t call it insecurity anymore. I’m either being self-centered or I’m not fully trusting in Jesus.
With Guatemala coming up and knowing I will be meeting lots of new people, a fear (which is not from the Lord) began creeping up, telling me I would succumb to insecurity because I’m probably not as ____ as all the others. (whatever it was for the day). As I began praying and thinking about this, the fear of being insecure started to fade. Not because I suddenly realized exactly “who I am” (which I think is the silliest phrase ever, but thats another post), but because Jesus showed me how it is good to be insecure. In fact, if I ever feel comfortable on my own, in my own words or actions, I am back to being stuck in my character bubble, separated from Jesus. When I am insecure in who I am, I have to rest and trust fully in Jesus, in Who He is, what He would say, and what He would do. When I trust fully in Him, I have to lay all of who I am down, which means I can enter in to community with a clear head and be present. Then it’s easier to get past the superficial connections because most of those are based on how we build up ourselves, rather than pouring into and making deeper connections with each other.
So I will be insecure on this trip, I pray I will learn to be insecure and trust more and more in Him for the rest of my life. I pray I could flee from trying to satisfy the desire to establish “who I am”, but rather surrender all I am, all my mess and insecurities, so Jesus could be fully present in me.