Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Intentional Living, Part 1

A number of people have asked me about my current living situation. Most people seem simply curious. A few, like myself in years past, seem very interested in pursuing intentional living themselves. And of course, a few have been obviously repulsed by the concept. My friend Pat asked me to share some thoughts on the subject via my blog. Being my first specific request for a blog topic, I could not refuse. The truth is I haven't said much about it for two very good reasons: 1. We are very early into the whole process and 2. Much like my relationship with my wife and kids, I never want this web journal to become a sounding board for anything that might make the important people in my life feel invaded or attacked.

Tonight I will tackle one oft-asked question: Why did you decide to live in an intentional community?

Ah, this is a difficult question. It is very complicated if the "you" is plural. Why did we, the twelve of us, decide this? That is a question that is the synthesis of six adult answers and six, probably better, kid answers. Why did I? That I can make an attempt at answering. Here are my reasons in no particular order:

1. Because I am selfish. A time had come for me to put myself into selfishness rehab. I needed to force myself to share more of my life with others.

2. Because I wanted to be a witness against the prevailing American ideals of individuality and isolation.

3. Because I was stuck in a rut trying to live out some of the simplest commands in Christianity, particularly the economic mandate to share everything on a daily basis.

4. Because I wanted my kids to grow up understanding that Christain community is a daily reality, not a programmable event.

5. Because almost all of my heros lived communally: Jesus, Francis, Patrick, Luther, Nouwen, Mother Theresa, Rich Mullins, my friends at Vineyard Central in Cincy.

6. Because it is the historical norm for followers of Jesus outside of our day and age.

7. Because rich white suburaban Las Vegans in gated communities deserve a hippie commune next door to them.

8. Because my wife, who was 100% against the idea, became more excited about it than I was.

9. Because I'm 75% sure that Jesus told me to.

10. And...because I fell head over heels in love with my housemates and would have regretted it my whole life had I not approached them to think about it.

Having said all of that, don't you dare do it for the first seven reasons if you can't honestly agree with the last three. Sometime soon I will blog about why it is so wonderful and difficult at the same time. Until then, 'nite john-boy.

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