Wednesday, February 7, 2007

The Multitude of Loneliness

I think it's a feeling that we've all had. You're surrounded by people and yet you feel utterly alone. The logic of it is inexplicable. In fact, it defies all sound explanation. People are everywhere and yet you feel like no one is around. Numerous individuals cloud the stage and you're imagining yourself at the third grade talent show staring back at the hundreds of faces that return your gaze. It's a solo performance and you're abandoned in a sea of humanity. Despite the multitude there is no solace.

I have yet to figure out what causes the feeling. It's not the people you're with or the environment one finds oneself in because I've had radically divergent feelings in comparable situations. Nor is the feeling solely emanating from an internal war, as evident by the fact that similar feelings can create different results. Best I can tell, at least from my experience, there is no one reason that causes this feeling to occur. But when it does, it can be terrifying.

I think it's because we all want to believe that there's something to depend on. Even in the midst of life's struggles we want to know that someone will be there that can support us and help guide us on our way. We want to believe that facing the world alone is not required, because quite frankly, the world can be an utterly scary place. Soldiers are some of the toughest, and most independent people I know, but they are also the ones that tend to value their relationships most profoundly. They know the value of having someone else with them in the foxhole. Feeling of loneliness aren't scary because you are actually physically alone; their terror comes from the feeling that everything is reliant on you. You are the cause and solution and nothing you can do can change that.

It might be for this reason that Jesus reminded us so many times that we are not alone. Before Joshua went into battle, before Jesus departed the Earth, reminders were given that God would be with His followers wherever they went. Not only is the comforting because it's a good thing to know God's on your side, but it's also a reminder that the execution of His work is not dependent on you. The Cause and the Solution of every situation is with you each step of the way. You are not alone, the Impetus of All Things is right there with you.

Sometimes its hard to remember this before you're scheduled to sing in front of the crowd. Sometimes feeling alone is a hard feeling to shake. Thank goodness God keeps His promise regardless of our feelings. And thank goodness that feelings change.

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Better Things Ahead: The Multitude of Loneliness

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The Multitude of Loneliness