Monday, November 19, 2007

Disconnectedness...

Over the last few weeks, I have been talking to Jill, and several other people here at Candler, about how disconnected we all are, how we all feel isolated, stranded, even alone at times. Essentially, I heard from a variety of sources that we all feel like (despite Candler’s claims to the contrary) there is no community here, that we’re on our own here. I’ve heard similar sentiments from everyone ranging from first-years to third-years.

We’re all busy. Between class, work, reading, writing, and sleeping (occasionally), it’s a wonder anyone here has time for others and for the self. It is a hectic time. If one were to do all the assigned readings, all the papers, the studying and so forth, there would be absolutely no way to even get a healthy amount of sleep each night, not to mention time to eat, bathe, etc. Nearly every professor feels like theirs is the only class any of us have. And the handful of professors who don’t are dearly loved by their students.

Anyway, getting back from the tangent...

The point is, we all feel kind of isolated. Wondering if this is the place for us, or where we’re going to be after we graduate. We wonder if we have real friends here, friends who will still be in our lives after graduation. Yeah, we’re all going different places, but with facebook, email, blogs, cell phones, no one is far away. But the point is, are these friends who will reach back? Maybe that’s just me, but I wonder how many of the people here I will actually keep in touch with, and of those, who will bother to keep in touch with me. It’s a two-way street. I just wonder if I’m the only car who’ll be driving it.

(I realize the hypocritical nature of me saying that. I have friends from Transy who I never talk to. And that’s my fault. If any of you are reading, I’m sorry. I’m going to try to be better about it. And if I fail, let me know...haha.)

I wonder if what we’re feeling here is something peculiar to this environment, or if it is something endemic in our generation. In this modern society so intricately interwoven, in a world that continues to shrink, why do we feel alone? And especially at a place built upon a radicalized idea of community? The church is a community different from all others, a place that, in theory, is so close that people don’t get isolated like this. I know it’s idealistic, and when dealing with real people ideals and theories don’t work to perfection. But the idea is there. We should be looking out for each other, not letting others and ourselves get stranded. We need to love each other. And part of that is communicating, spending time together.

On the bright side, this weekend was a great weekend for spending time with people. Friday night Jill and I went to the movies, something we had not done in a long time. Saturday we had dinner with a few friends. We went to Edo, a Japanese steakhouse. It was delicious and fun. Then yesterday we hung out with some other friends at Taco Mac and watched football, then later that evening had pizza with even more friends. All in all, a good (and needed) weekend for healing some of the disconnectedness, for strengthening the bonds of friendship. We were not made to be in isolation for significant lengths of time. We all need time apart, but we really need time together. We need each other. Even God doesn’t exist in isolation (i.e. the Trinity). Why should we?

So, if anyone out there still reads this, and understands what I’m talking about, I just want to say that I’m always available to talk. Or rather that I want to be, and will be making an effort to be a better friend.

“If you need me, call me, I’ll be there in a hurry, you don’t have to worry... ‘cause baby there ain’t no mountain high enough...”

Peace...

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hmm. I think we sort of drift through life and we make many, many acquaintances but if you have 3-4 really good friends, then consider yourself lucky! There are tons of people I have as friends on facebook or myspace that are really just acquaintances, but my good, close friends are I really need in the end, you know?

Having this baby, I think about the 4 people that will be on speed dial when he comes, no matter what time of night, and those are my really true friends. All the other good acquaintances are awesome and great to have, but if one doesn't have that core group of people they can always depend on to come running, all the acquaintances in the world are useless, you know?

BTW I was really thinking about a neat thing we should do this summer-get all the old TLC Youth gang back together for a reunion! Wouldn't it be neat to see where we all are in our lives now?! It'd be fun to reconnect with everyone too! Well have a good Thanksgiving!

derekrobinette@yahoo.com said...

Dude...first of all it is awesome that you and Jill are dating.

Second of all, I am a jerk at keeping up with very cool people! Hope things are treating you well at Candler.

About community...I feel where you are coming from, but looking back at my experience at Candler from being at two other seminaries I think the community is spectacular. Not perfect...there is always drama, but community is what you make it. One thing i learned at Candler was that if i was going to grow in my walk I had to find it on my own and in other avenues. I have found that to be true at Asbury and LPTS (did you know I transfered again???). Embrace this last semester of community together. I hope that it is an amazing time and I will be praying that you will experience amazing community!

D Rob
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