Life is too often lived individually. In fact, we get so focused on being individuals that we end up getting lost in a sea of individualism. Choose to instead pursue connection, to live as a body that exists for the health of the body as much if not more so than for the uniqueness of the individual parts.
We’re the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12). As such, each part has a specific purpose. At the same time, the parts exist for the body and the body exists for the parts.
“My feet walk, my eyes see, my nose smells, but I am still one body. And that one body is part of the body of Christ.” (Madelaine L’Engle, A Stone for a Pillow)
In “Turning A Midlife Crisis Into A Midlife Calling,” Chip Conley says that according to a study done at Stanford, there are three key things we need after about age 50.
- Purpose – Who are we and what’s important in our lives.
- Wellness – Physical, mental, and spiritual wellness.
- Community – Being and having deep conversations in community.
Though these are also important at any other age, they are especially so after age 50 if we want to age gracefully. They get at the idea that we are not meant to live in isolation and that living in community, pursuing wellness, and serving others is the way we both live out our individual and unique purposes and contribute to the overall health of the body as a whole.
As the years pass all too rapidly, I increasingly realize my desire for connection. In fact, the desire for deep and authentic connection as seen through my purpose and in community, is now overwhelming for me. It’s also a source of frustration because after having neglected it for far too long and as individualism has become pandemic to the detriment of community, I find myself struggling with establishing connection as a way of life.
Yet, I pursue that as my goal. I chase after authentic connection with others through being in community and having deep conversations. With as much of my adult life ahead of me as is behind me, I plan to make this a priority in a way I didn’t – maybe couldn’t – before now.