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Omaha, Nebraska, United States
I am more and more convinced that most congregations die from a staggering lack of imagination. Let's change that. Let's imagine a creative future with God and each other together. Drop me a line on email or leave a comment if you have thoughts on God, Jesus, congregations, the church or whatever.... I look forward to our conversations.

Monday, June 30, 2014

You May Be an Introvert if...

At dinner last night, one of my companions remarked that she likes cemeteries. "Cemeteries are a great place for introverts," she said. I leaned over to Chris and said, "Introverts: we like people only if they're dead." 

Now introverts, people who gain energy by being in smaller groups of people, or even by being with themselves, are often contrasted with extroverts, those who gain energy by being in larger groups of people. Like most polarities, people need both, although some tend to live closer to one pole rather than the other. So, imagine you are going to a State Fair: does thinking about all the people make you excited or make you tired? If you're like me, you get excited, but then I am an extrovert. 

Over the years I've slowly morphed from being an introvert to an extroverted personality. By the time I finished my dissertation, I was done being introverted. I would do anything to break out of a library after that! Of course, I grew up where hibernation was the main winter activity, and I look forward to the day I can move back into my mother's house in Florida. I need to be around people these days, the more the merrier.

But, I still have my garden...I still read my books...I still write a I said, they are polarities. (Remember: polarities are both needed for an object to cohere. Without both the object collapses--literally vanishes. It's not a "one or the other," but rather a "both and" type thing.)

So how about you? Where do you get your energy from? Are you morphing one way to the other, or have you been pretty consistent over the years? Jesus of Nazareth is the perfect example of what I am talking about. He spent a great deal of time alone, or with a small group of people; however, he seemed to derive great energy from being in crowds. But they are different types of energy.

The energy you receive from attending to your spirit and the Spirit of God moves like waves of light, like some spiritual aurora borealis  that connects you to the deepest realities of life. Somehow that energy flows back and forth from God into a beautiful creation that is you. It is the deep power that cannot be tamed, but only surfed and looked at in awe and silence.

The energy we receive from others,  from engaging with compassion and love in the lives of your neighbors, moves in us like particles of light.  bursting upon the scene, demanding attention, and offering the sweet balm of relief and forgiveness. This energy is intense and passionate and often short-lived.

Regardless of how you energize primarily in your life, it seems a balance should be in order. It seems like God made us this way. Maybe you like cemeteries, maybe you don't, but I know you can often find me at the bar...I like people too, most of them-- when they are alive.

May your tables be full, and your conversations be true.

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