Reader’s Choice: Perryn Pettus: I’m an introvert. It’s freeing to know this about myself, but can too easily become a shield for protection of my personal space and time. This devotional struck me in a deep way, “When we talk to strangers, we stand to gain much more than the ‘me time’ we might lose.” Of course it’s an interesting study based on scientific facts, but the more interesting thing is, in order to truly know those around me—in an attempt to see into others like Jesus sees me—I must fight against the erroneous belief that the greatest pleasures are in solitude.
843 Acres: Redeeming Our Commute
Originally published on April 30, 2014
Highlighted: Heb 5:8-9
do not touch anyone. It’s no wonder, then, why “commuting is associated with fewer positive emotions than any other common daily activity”—after all, we’re told to be alone when we’re smack dab in the middle of community. Can commuting be redeemed?
Guide: Jesus learned obedience—not because he disobeyed, but because he needed to experience suffering and temptation first-hand to qualify as our sympathetic high priest.  He needed to suffer in order to be made “perfect” for the job. As Hebrews says,“Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him.”  His learning, however, took place in an incarnate life, not a classroom. Jesus did not come as an anthropologist to learn about us in a detached way. He came into the fabric of our everyday lives, in the commonness of our humanity. 
Choice: Commuting is part of our ordinary, daily lives. When we commute, however, we get to choose whether we will see people or see through them. Recently, Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton reported in the New York Times Magazine on a study showing that those who talked with strangers had a more positive commuting experience than those who sat in solitude. They concluded, “Rather than fall back on our erroneous belief in the pleasures of solitude, we could reach out to other people. At least, when we walk down the street, we can refuse to accept a world where people look at one another as though through air. When we talk to strangers, we stand to gain much more than the ‘me time’ we might lose.”
Prayer: Lord, In becoming incarnate, Jesus broke down the wall of solitude between us and you. He saw into us, not through us—becoming our high priest and sympathizing with us in our weaknesses. Although we often fear engaging with strangers, may we not fall back on the erroneous belief in the pleasures of solitude. May we smile at others, reaching out to them as you have reached out to us. Amen.
About Perryn: Perryn has lived in New York City for 6 years and enjoys traveling to obscure spots in the outer boroughs to try new restaurants.
M’Cheyne Reading as Scheduled:
 The full meaning of “perfect” is not only “flawless,” but also “complete”. |  Hebrews 5:8-9 ESV |  Theology of Work. “Hebrews.”