It's been all of a blur - Jesus Army Life

Photo by Kaká on Flickr.com
I've been wanting to write here for ages.

And in that sentence seems to be the summary of years of experience.

Living in a community can be challenging, fun, beautiful, inspiring and even exhillerating but all those things mean that it also takes up a lot of time. It means that I've been hunting for opportunities to write but not finding them... Writing for me, is a cumbersome process, and when I'm blogging it takes a good half hour at least. But if you take a look at my daily schedule you'll begin to understand how difficult it can be to squeeze this in.

  • 6.30: Get up, exercise, wash, dress etc.
  • 7.30: Commute to work, pray
  • 8.30: Work
  • 12:30: Lunch (get out for some fresh air, preferably with a friend or hot foot it to the library to read the paper for quater of an hour)
  • 1:15: Work
  • 5:00: Commute home, read (if I have the energy)
  • 6:00: Mysterious half hour which disappears into the ether (usually involves getting a drink, changing clothes, chatting to people, admin or organising stuff, maybe practising the saxophone for 10 minutes)
  • 6:30: Dinner and wash up*
  • 7:45: People come round for the evening community activity: normally a meeting or friendship activity of some sort* (The times evening activities finish vary but it normally crashes into the 10:30 barrier some how, having cleared up, washed up, caught up with folk, driven people home.)
  • 10:30: Someone else is always on the computer! (Not surprising since it is shared by 16 other people.) And this also tends to be an important time for just relaxing with the people you actually live with (it rarely happens during the activity times!)
  • 11:30: I really should be in bed
* People who've experienced living in our community will laugh at this - they know the evenings are never this simple; life is rarely straightfoward in community.

The weekends continue at roughly the same pace. Saturdays involve housework, a bit of time with God and exercise, a big lunch and evening fellowship. Sundays involve church meetings, prayer meetings, leadership type meetings and another big lunch which lasts most of the afternoon (you can understand why I exercise so much).

We joke about 'going to work for a rest' but it can be so true. Community life never stops. Come downstairs in the middle of the night and there's this gorgeous haunting atmosphere of paused time, all the hustle and bustle just waiting, taking a breath before the juggernaught of the next day's activity hits you again.

Don't get me wrong. There will be the odd free evening or afternoon but they become crucial times for seeing important friends or JUST DOING NOTHING! (which occassionally has to be diaried in). I tend to see Friday evening to Saturday evening as a time where I will do things I choose to do (a kind of personal sabbath), but it still involves getting out to see people, doing something fun to build brotherhood, helping a friend with something, that kind of stuff, and it doesn't always happen.

Oh, did I mention volunteering to work in the wider community via the Jesus Centre a few times a month?

Doing the usual stuff like family visits, going on trips, personal projects, just messing around - that still happens too, but you often have to carve out the time, perhaps miss a few community things.

So that's my life, and it's taken me well over an hour to write this...

Photo by Kaká on Flickr.com