Over the years I have slowly come to the realization that I am at my best in community. Which is funny because I am most comfortable in isolation. I used to think that my times of solitude fed into my growth around others; that the time spent alone would enable me to better interact with others. However, I am now convinced that the opposite is true. My time in community, particularly with the people of God, greatly enhances my growth in meditation, study, and prayer. It is all probably more cyclical than linear, but more often than not, the starting place for me is fellowship.
The Lord has been a patient and firm shepherd to me in this area. His rod and staff have hemmed me into the presence of others time and time again for my good. He lifts my eyes to the world around me when I want to look inward. He turns my ear from the silence I so often crave to the sounds of life in the Kingdom. Sheep are meant to dwell in flocks. A solitary, wandering lamb does not survive very long.