Last night as I was leaving the Y and walking to my car, I thought about the sense of community that I experience outside of church.
It was in 2006 when I started to seriously train for triathlon. What this means is a daily routine of exercise and a number of habits(rest, stretch, eating healthy etc.) that I changed to support me in that.
It was also the time I was saving up to fix my teeth. I had a bike accident the year before and my company had no dental plan. In the midst of learning to cope with training and the uncertainty as to how I will have my teeth fix. I let out a frustrated post about not sure what to get for a wetsuit.
Mike saw my post and emailed me that he had a wetsuit that is my size and he didn't use it anymore. He asked for my address and mailed it to me.
Not only did he gave me his wetsuit, he also included two water bottles and a running hat. To this day, I still use it.
I am touched by such generosity. I never met Mike in person. We lived thousand of miles apart. Why would someone give me mail me something without even asking for it?
A few months later, I had a pair of running shoes that didn't fit. I wore it two times. Reading a runner's blog, there was a guy who needed that model. I, in turn, shipped the shoes to him without much thought.
Beyond physical boundaries and beyond the fact whether we like each other or not, one person takes care of another. This is a community which one acts beyond oneself.
Like Darren, whom take me out on rides when it doesn't benefit him from his training. Or Wendy, whom I emailed a lot of questions about what to eat and drink during my first triathlon. Or competitors, who during the run will pass bottles or a cup of water to one another.
There is a certain sense of joy when one takes care of another simply to take care of another. Where if one falls, the community suffers.
How often do I want to say, do more community or share lives. When really we just live and share and give. Talking about community does not equate to living in a community.