A crowd. That’s a way of life around here. 5 kids, dogs, bunnies. We live in the church parsonage next door to where our congregation meets. Not a day goes by when people don’t stop by. My oldest daughter is Autistic and our front door has revolved for years with a steady flow of service providers and therapists. Company shows up often and extra kids around are not uncommon. The only thing I have to do to find a crowd is wake up. Or try to go to the bathroom alone. The crowd comes to me.
Yes, my life is crazy, but it’s my crazy, so I’m usually fine with it. But every once in a while it gets the better of me. Last Sunday was one of those days. I got up and started getting kids ready for church. Then I broke the rules. Preacher’s wives are expected to act a certain way you know. But I didn’t feel like it. So I skipped church. I just couldn’t deal with the crowd.
Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t think anybody needs to make a habit of laying out of church. I LOVE the body of Christ. I need it. And this particular congregation is especially precious to me……but I just didn’t have it in me to see a bunch of people. Because sometimes we feel loneliest in a crowd. Don’t you hate that feeling? There’s clatter and noise and faces. There’s laughter and concern and activity but you feel all alone. Or more accurately, lonely. There’s a big difference between alone and lonely. Alone can be good. Lonely is sad. Lonely is feeling isolated or not connected. That’s tragic.
So what’s the answer to lonely? Sometimes the answer is being alone. Last Sunday morning I couldn’t deal with the lonely feeling, so I spent some time alone………..with God. When I’m with Him, I’m never lonely. Being alone with God protects me from lonely. Being alone with God satisfies my soul. There’s no person or group of people that can do that.
Being alone with God on Sunday morning helped me survive my week, but I also saw how hungry I was for some quiet. Our lives are so full and we keep cramming them with more and more thinking it will fill us up. In truth, it only robs us. The faster the ride, the quicker it depletes our energy. So this weekend hubby and I jumped off the merry-go-round and found ourselves some quiet. Some alone.
It’s hard to connect in a crowd. In the noise. If that was true for Jesus then it’s most certainly true for us. “Large crowds were gathering together to hear him and to be healed of their illnesses. Yet Jesus himself frequently withdrew to the wilderness and prayed.” – Luke 5:15-16
Friends, don’t be afraid of being alone. It’s the only way to avoid being lonely. Get by yourself. Alone. Not alone with your computer, tv or phone. Not alone with a novel. Get alone with God, so you can connect to God’s grace. Fill your life with the clutter of noise and you will find yourself disconnected from what’s important. Yeah, I know we can’t escape from life. We have to live amongst the crowd. Sure. But unless we find some quiet once in awhile we might miss God’s voice. If we miss His voice, then what kind of life are we really living any way?