“This life is a series of hellos and goodbyes/10 thousand different people pass before your eyes/Every day another story line begins/and every night you feel loneliness again”
Those words from the 1990s Christian band Mad at the World sums up the lives of all too many people in the world today.
My life is no different.
I am divorced. Most mornings, I wake up to an empty house. I go to work where I have only a handful of people I would call a friend. I come home and get on the computer where I have only met a few of my Twitter followers (only one of which has become extremely special to me) and a few of my LinkedIn followers, but none I would consider more than an acquaintance. Then on Sunday, when I get to church, there are about twenty or so people in whom I know some of the personal details of their lives. Even then, I don’t hang out with many outside of church.
I am the typical in a growing number of people who is at risk for losing my ability to care.
64 Then the Lord will scatter you among all nations, from one end of the earth to the other. There you will worship other gods—gods of wood and stone, which neither you nor your ancestors have known. 65 Among those nations you will find no repose, no resting place for the sole of your foot. There the Lord will give you an anxious mind, eyes weary with longing, and a despairing heart. 66 You will live in constant suspense, filled with dread both night and day, never sure of your life. 67 In the morning you will say, “If only it were evening!” and in the evening, “If only it were morning!”—because of the terror that will fill your hearts and the sights that your eyes will see.
Does this scripture sound like you? I know I have felt this way quite a bit. Wake up and you can’t wait for the night to come so you can play the xbox or watch something stupid on TV or play with the dog. But when you get bored with the xbox or TV and when the dog begins to annoy you because it wants to spend special time in your relationship with belly rubs, you find yourself craving the morning just so you can do something different.
The Israelites were left as a remnant because they did not obey the Lord. Can you trace your loneliness, hardened heart, or lack of faith to an instance of sin? I bet you can.
Sin brings loneliness. Sin brings a complete and utter separation from God. This separation from God translates into the human life as well. The separation from God leads to a separation from loved ones here on earth. If you read the Bible regularly, you will see that there is a very strong emphasis on relationships. And in most of the Biblical stories, especially in the Old Testament, the relationships broke when one or both parties sinned against God.
So what should we do?
First, it is important that we stay intentional in the way we interact with people. If someone asks of our time, put the phone down and don’t look around. Focus on the person. This is a tough one for me as my blackberry is always attached to my hand.
Next during church or work make it part of your day to go up to people and ask them about their day, or their life, or their family. Get to know them. I bet you have something in common with almost every person you meet.
Finally, be sure to go out and spend time with people. Join the church bowling league or softball team. Get involved in Bible studies. Or just simply invite some people out to lunch to talk.
The church is about fellowship. It is about getting together and enjoying time in the Lord. Introduce your family to other families. You will find that your family will be healthier and you will find that God will bless your relationships.
Bottom line of the story, don’t let the relationships slide by you. They are too important to waste. God has taught me that and has blessed me with some wonderful relationships right now, and has brought back my heart, which I was concerned would always stayed hardened. Thanks to God, He has given me such a blessing.