Loneliness. All of us have experienced this in one form or another; some more than others. In my 30 odd years, it has hit me in a myriad of ways: from being unable to express how I felt losing my dad to cancer, to realizing someone I cared about would not love me back the same way.
Loneliness is crippling and the fear of loving and trusting again is a pit one may fall into and not get out of. It can often cause us to look inwards—in my case, getting sucked into an online reality where my need to be connected virtually inadvertently led me to physically isolate myself from others and eventually to what I feared most: becoming more alone.
In my opinion, our culture today breeds loneliness. The promise of efficient communication and faster updates easily replaces the time consuming act of meeting up face-to-face. Modern society measures relationships by the number of connections or followers we have; there’s little to do with a healthy engaging community. Have we then replaced quality with quantity? Do we take stock of the number of friends we have on social media just like how we collect stamps? Have we substituted real life conversations with virtual connections? Clearly, these are actual and present dangers, for God did not create us to interact with each other over monitor screens. Innately, we all crave for that personal and physical connection with others.
The choice to break free from the norms in our day and age is a personal and deliberate one. I want to spend my time building relationships and caring for the family, loved ones, and godly friends God has placed around me. Naturally, it will not be easy, but it is an effective remedy to loneliness. I no longer experience a sense of hopelessness and despair and I have something to look forward to each day.
As a believer, my “family” has extended to include the church community. Meeting up, sharing in each other’s struggles, and praying for one another has given me an eternal perspective of the continued fellowship we can share in Christ. Relationships are worthwhile. Walking hand in hand with the people I care about is important because we will meet again in the place that Jesus has prepared for us.
“Not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” —Hebrews 10:25 (NIV)