I've been asked quite a lot lately about what living ‘as a community’ actually means. My father thinks I live in a commune – I’m not that much of a hippy just yet (but I have started wearing more tye-dye clothes whenever I go home, just to freak him out a bit you know).
Each week living as a community means something different.
Last week was definitely about choices & being intentional.
Sometimes it’s just carrying out decisions that you’ve already made as a group:
- Choosing to share incomes and contribute to living expenses on the basis of what you earn and can afford
- Choosing to buy food as a household and cook together (one simple rule avoids confusion and the crushing disappointment of opening the fridge to discover the food you were dreaming about all day has gone - if you wan’ it then you gotta put ya name on it)
Or decisions that you need to make together:
- Choosing to spend time together (you know your lives have gotten too busy when you have to schedule 8am breakfast meetings with your flatmates so that you can all get your diaries out and book in time to spend together over the next two months)
- Choosing to pray with each other
- Choosing to pray for each other
- Choosing whether or nor to invest in a tumble drier ( with four girls a tumble drier is definitely for the win!)
And then there are the daily decisions:
- Choosing to not throw a book/table/chair at you roommate when she sings that one line from that really annoying song for the millionth time that day
- Choosing not to throw your roommate out the window when she tries to have a conversation with you before you've had breakfast, even though she knows you can’t deal with it (for those of you wondering - I had breakfast half an hour before our breakfast meeting)
- Choosing to forgive your flatmates when they don’t even realise you feel wronged
- Choosing to say sorry when you don’t understand what you did wrong/knowingly did something wrong
- Choosing to invite people into your home when you really need a night off to watch Gypsy Weddings
- Choosing to clean more often than you think necessary because you know that in the same way you can't deal with mornings, your flatmate can't deal with mess
- Choosing to share your burdens with others and help others carry theirs'
- Choosing to sing along to Bryan Adams at the top of your voice while you cook dinner with your flatmate (Bryan Adams – For shame! Minus 5 points to Rachel)
But then there are the days when the sun is shining, life is perfect (enough) and the harder choices, that require more courage and greater love, are o so easy to make.
And then community is less about making choices and more about just living your life, with maybe a bit more grace and depth and love then you might otherwise have done.