I talk a lot about the value of community, doing theology in community, reading the Bible in community, making decisions in community, etc. At the same time I’m highly introverted and I find community very difficult. I need my space.

Take for example last weekend. It started with our weekly care group meeting potluck on Friday night. But for me too many people showed up, in particular too many kids. Our house was too crowded, there was too much noise and I actually didn’t mind not fitting around the table and sitting on the sidelines. [Maybe I’m just getting old!] I could listen to all the chatter without having to say anything. It was actually a relief to leave early for a reading at a coffeehouse, but it was another social situation. I was exhausted but had to get up early to take my son to a soccer game and stand on the sidelines making small talk with other parents standing in the cold “snain.” Then in the afternoon we went to see a play surrounded by 200 other people. We almost forgot we had company for supper. My cousin and parents came over. It was a nice visit but it was so draining for me! On Sunday after church [I like the service and the sermon but usually try to escape the foyer chatter] we had more company for lunch. I bless my wife and her gift of hospitality but I needed a retreat!

My office was a retreat on occasion during the week and today I took my monthly retreat day. It was glorious! Don’t get me wrong, I love people, but sometimes I need to get away from people so that I can be truly with them when I am with them.

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