Day 4 of 28: proud of my progress! If you are reading this, thank you for being a part of this special writing journey, no matter when you are reading. Today, I want to slide across from yesterday’s theme and talk about the opposite of having friends: having none. I am a fan of Liverpool Football Club, and like many other fans, I like to croon along to the club anthem on the special occasions where it is sung, singing loudest at the last and most important line: “You’ll Never Walk Alone”.
In practice, however, we do walk alone sometimes. In fact, we all need some seasons of walking or being alone to come into our own. I am not talking about deliberately ostracizing yourself or strangling relationships around you so people can leave you alone. Rather, I am talking about periods of life, when by divine design or seeming coincidence, you just happen to have no close friend or confidante you speak to about your life affairs. If, however, this describes your default lifestyle, then you need to make a change! No one functions well continuously without a support system.
Seasons of solitude may last anywhere from days to months (or years?) and can be very useful for reflection on our personal values and convictions. They help us see who we are in the absence of others, and possibly identify strengths we need to amplify or weaknesses we need to fortify. Solitude is crucial to our development as individuals. Depending on who you are, however, it is very possible that you always avoid solitude and instead seek the company of others. I encourage you to consider that being alone for a time is not a malady; it may even be a blessing in the long run.
God’s call to the Jewish patriarch, Abraham, was a call to him ALONE. It was a call that separated him from his family and friends on placed him on a special mission. He would make new friends and build a family of his own, but I bet that his first few months or years as a sojourner must have felt very lonely. This is the thing with solitude: it is not always pleasant. We may feel the urgent need to socialize or connect with others but we must learn through practice when to remain alone with our thoughts and our God. Eventually, seasons of solitude often pass on their own, with new relationships emerging along with a renewed person.
Thanks for taking the time to read, and I’ll be back here tomorrow to share some other thoughts. Cheers!