You know, no matter where our life-journeys take us, it’s pretty much inevitable that there will be moments in life when little (or big) waves of loneliness just seem to rush over top of us and knock us flat…even if (or sometimes precisely because) we just finished having dinner with a friend or Skyping with family. It’s often not completely rational, but that doesn’t stop the emotion from crashing in on our lives and demanding our full attention.
I have had a few of these moments recently, perhaps not surprisingly, as this weekend has been another major transition period of moving back to a place that I do love but once again leaving behind a place that I’ve loved much longer (and for somewhat different reasons). For such a gregarious soul as mine, when the feeling of loneliness sweeps over me, it’s very easy to lose all sense of perspective and just become numb and useless for a while, at least until the feeling passes.
This weekend, however, as one of those moments started to come over me, I realized that the old Steve Green song, Find us Faithful, was playing on my Spotify station. As I listened to the words, I began to understand just how limited was the perspective that I was allowing myself to become entrapped in. Allowing myself to remain overwhelmed by a temporary lack of contact with others is not only a rejection of the beautiful promise of our Saviour, “I am with you always,” but it is also a denial of the fact that every step I take leaves a footprint on the sands of time—one that will most likely be traced by future generations of Christ-followers. Even in my (seemingly) most “alone” moments, I am making choices that build a character—one marked either by faithfulness or by faithlessness.
“Oh, may all who come behind us find us faithful! May the fire of our devotion light their way. May the footprints that we leave lead them to believe, and the lives we live inspire them to obey.” This is a weighty summoning. It demands that we lift up our inward-focussed gazes and march ahead in trusting reliance on the call of our Creator.
Lord, help me to give my moments of loneliness to You; may You use them to bind my heart closer to those I love; but may they never become excuses for feeling (or becoming) useless to the purposes of Your ongoing Kingdom.